New bond election likely to be called in early 2019

Roberto Garcia & Annali Ward, Contributing Reporters

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Conroe ISD is ramping up plans to pursue another bond issue sometime next year, according to discussion at a previous board meeting.

At a board meeting in August, members discussed calling a bond election in late January.

Melanie Bush, Conroe ISD Board President, said they will know more information in a little over a month.

“Regarding when the bond election will happen,” Bush said. “I believe it will be voted on between late January and early February.”

Before a bond can officially be on the ballot in May, a committee first will meet to decide what the district needs and what will go into the bond. The committee will send that to the school board, which decides when the people are allowed to vote on it and finally voting takes place.

The bond referendum includes the construction of new schools and classrooms to support student growth, improvements to aged buildings to sustain capacity, funding for programs and facilities and upgrades to safety and security. The tax impact from the bond referendum is conservatively estimated to result in no more than a one cent tax increase over the life of the bond.

Principal Dr. Jeff Stichler said that as the school continues to grow and eventually become a 6A school, the district and campus will need to look at more facilities for sports teams, such as locker rooms and the weight rooms.

“We already have classrooms that we’re not using right now so we really don’t need more classrooms at this point,” Stichler said. “But, our athletic facilities are not up to par for schools in 6A and for the size of teams that would use those if we continue to grow.”

The possible bond election is a major game changer for the school because as the community is growing the school will become even more crowded. Eventually the school will need to expand, and build better facilities to fit the needs of the staff and students.

The school’s primary goal is to upgrade the security, and improve the sport teams facilities when they become a 6A school.

CCHS’s safety system will most likely improve due to the bond election. The school is thinking about improving the security of doors leading outside to help stop any unwanted visitors.

“Safety comes first,” Stichler said. “Campus safety is always a big thing that would be studied: How can we make our school safer? If so, can we bring in some money to increase security on the outside doors? Then we’ll do that.

“You just have to look at how much it cost and what the benefit is. If it gives us a tiny benefit and it cost a whole lot it’s probably not what we’re looking for.”

A bond called in early 2019 will likely take place during the May 2019 general election.