Work to begin on bond projects

Angie Rodriguez, Editor-In-Chief

Voters gave the OK for Conroe ISD’s $653.57 million bond for repairs and campus renovations, but not artificial turf. CISD has already begun to take action since the bond passed Nov. 5. Proposition A included; new campuses and additions, safety and security, campus renovations, district support toward services needs, and land and contingency, with 20,152 votes for and 15,804 votes against the $653.7 million proposition. The difference now was that Proposition B only included artificial turf for other high schools in the district and was worth $23.8 million, gaining it 20,942 votes against and 14,886 votes for it. However, Caney Creek’s football field turf was part of Proposition A. “The football field would get artificial turf just because the water system out here wouldn’t be able to handle keeping that water in (and) safe for kids,” Principal Dr. Jeffrey Stichler said. “The grass needs to be soft enough to be safe and be able to handle all the water that the junior high is going to use.” Proposition B was supposed to go toward helping improve the softball and baseball fields as well. “Having those artificial turfs helps those teams play on them all year, because our coaches and kids spend a lot of actual time doing maintenance on the field,” Stichler said. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a baseball practice but over 30 minutes a day is spent raking the field, moving the dirt around and getting it nice, pulling weeds and doing all those kinds of things so it’s in good shape to play.” In the “campuses and additions” part of proposition A, Conroe ISD will to add two new elementaries and a new junior high into the Caney Creek feeder zone. “One of the bigger issues is now the timeline for the new Moorhead Junior High slows down a lot,” Stichler said. “If (the bond) does pass it will take another calendar year to have the new moorhead to be built. They’re still going to have to be in the building three more years.” After the flood most classrooms were able to be moved into other empty classrooms, with the exceptions of the counselors and attendance offices. “For the most part we’re pretty good on growth for a while just with the classrooms we have,” Stichler said. “But our athletic and fine arts facilities are not up to the level of the 6A high schools.” Most 6A high schools have auditoriums that hold up to 1,000 people, while Caney Creek’s only hold 450. “We had kids sitting on the floor (during the junior class ring meeting) because the auditorium is not big enough to even hold one of our classes,” Stichler said. “We’re going to continue to grow so we want to make sure we don’t want to be addressing it when we’re out of space and now everything is overcrowded and now we decide to start doing something and now it takes two or three years to get finished.” Stichler said if the bond had been rejected, the district would have probably raised taxes because “roofs on building still need to be replaced.” “Air conditioners on schools that aren’t working well or sending mouldy, moist air in the school has to be fixed,” Stichler. “As things grow instead of having a school for kids to go into you’re going to have to buy portable buildings for that, and they’re over $100,000 each. (The district) still going to have to have more buses as we grow; we’re already over 2,000 kids bigger than we were last year, those kids have to go on buses somewhere.” With more kids going into CISD schools, they would have to redraw feeder zone lines so that high schools do not become overcrowded. The district would also have had a hiring freeze and possible reduction. “What that means is that when we fire teachers or when teachers resign or retire at the end of the year, we just wouldn’t hire anyone back to save money,” Stichler said. “The district spends a whole lot of money on salaries. You just wouldn’t have a lot of teachers so class sizes would go up, it’d be a lot harder to do different types of things.”

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