City Elections 2013: Holliday Community Divided Over School Bond - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

City Elections 2013: Holliday Community Divided Over School Bond

Middle and high school students in Holliday are learning in cramped quarters that haven't been upgraded since they were built over 30 years ago.

Kevin Dyes, the superintendent of the Holliday Independent School District said the facilities are outdated, rundown and small. Believe it or not, he says the students have been affected academically because of it. The state requires students to spend a certain amount of time in school laboratories but the 450 middle and high schoolers in Holliday have to share 2 science labs.

"You can realize that with only two labs, that number of students and that number of teachers it's very difficult for us to get that 40% of laboratory time," said Dyes.

But Dyes said not having enough room for students has also made it difficult for school officials to keep track of those who are coming in and out of the campus. That has been putting the student's safety at risk.

Since there's not enough room in the main school building, many of the students have to take classes in portable buildings. School officials are concerned because even though the doors are kept locked when students are in the portable classrooms they're still vulnerable.

In order to fix up all those problems and more Holliday ISD's Board of Trustees is asking voters to approve a $15 million bond. Basically homeowners would have to pay more property taxes over a period of 25 years.

Dyes said, "If you're a homeowner and you own a $100,000 home it's going to cost you $24 a month in increase to your property taxes."

Holliday residents have different opinions on the crucial decision.

"I feel like it's something that we need. It's important for towns like Holliday to have a good school system," said a Holliday homeowner.

But another resident disagrees. He said, "People with low incomes can't afford it. I can't afford it. It's like sending all the people that are in a fish tank to the poor house."

If the bond passes, the school board will meet with the community, architects and project managers to come up with a plan for the new buildings. School officials are expecting the project to be done by the end of 2014.

If you're over 65 or disabled you may be exempt from any tax increase.

Holliday residents are currently still paying for a $6 million bond that was approved to build a new elementary school in 2005.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. tomorrow and will close at 7 p.m.

 

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6 

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