Wichita Falls Board of Trustees decided to put a $59.5-million bond on the May ballot. It will include the new Career and Technical Education Center.
"We need it," Trey Sralla, the School Board President said, "That's the bottom line."
He explained it is a plan they have been working on since before the last bond.
"It was very popular in the last bond. We heard that over and over again," Sralla said.
All of the board members said this is the right time to try to pass a bond. They agreed that they will have to do smaller bonds to get to where they want to go.
He said, "The community told us based on their votes that the high schools were a point of contention as well as it just being too much."
Everyone on the board of trustees said a new Career and Technology Center will make a huge difference for students. Especially when they are planning their future careers.
"This is aligning ourselves with House Bill 5, which is the way that education is going in the State of Texas," Sralla said.
While it took some time to get this bond proposal to this point, Sralla said there was good reason.
He said, "We're talking about $59.5-million. That's a lot of money, or you don't plan to spend that kind of money on a whim."
Sralla explained they needed to get input from the community, staff, faculty, architects, designers, and board members. He said they put in a lot of hours to make sure they had it right.
"We don't want to put something forward to the public that we don't believe in," he said.
As soon as the last bond failed, they decided to narrow the focus on the Career and Technical Education Center.
"We were able to come in with a bond that's less than half and there's going to be a lot of bang for the buck here," he said.
If the bond passes in May residents can expect a tax increase. However, as all of the board members pointed out, it is a very small one.
Sralla said, "We're only talking about a two cent increase over where the taxes were previously."
This would break down to $7 a month for a homeowner with a $100,000 home. Even with the increase, Sralla said residents would be paying less than the surrounding school districts.
"We're all in this together," he said, "It's an investment in our future and an investment in our community."
This is why he is excited about having a Career and Technical Education Center.
"I'm excited about developing a world class facility for Wichita Falls that's going to lead the area," he said, "No one is going to have what we have."
The bond proposal will be on the ballot for the May 2015 election. Early voting will be from April 27th through May 1st and May 4th through May 5th. Election day will be May 9th.
Below is a breakdown of the bond proposal.
Career and Technical Education Center
Middle School Realighment
fety and Security
Memorial Stadium Improvements
All proposed projects and improvements
WFISD commitment from Fund Balance
Total bond cost