Hays CISD board votes to continue 2020 bond proposal process with public hearings Jan. 11, 13, 15

The Hays CISD board of trustees has voted in favor of continuing the process of developing a bond proposal that would go to voters in May.

The HCISD Facilities and Bond Oversight Committee met throughout the fall to develop a list of proposed projects and estimated costs that was presented to the trustees at a Dec. 16 meeting.

“This action item is effectively the passing of the torch,” said Tim Savoy, HCISD's director of communications and the committee facilitator throughout the process. “The board, should you choose at this point to continue with the process, would take now to public forums.”

Those public forums will be held:

  • Jan. 11 10:30 a.m. McCormick Middle School

  • Jan. 13 6 p.m. Dahlstrom Middle School

  • Jan. 15 6 p.m. Wallace Middle School

In addition to a list of projects and estimated costs, the presentation to the board showed the results of a survey taken by 23 of the 28 members of the committee in which they ranked their level of support for each of the proposed items. Each potential project was ranked with a number between 0 and 7, with the highest numbers demonstrating the most support from committee members.

The highest-ranked projects included middle school expansions and improvements for an estimated $47.66 million, a new elementary school costing $35.86 million, and the renovation and expansion of Live Oak Academy for $8.11 million. All three projects received scores higher than 6.

The same 23 members of the committee were also asked to rank support for different total dollar amounts of a potential bond, with 60% supporting either $156.99 million or $192.22 million. A comparatively small 17% supported a higher dollar amount, while 21% supported a lower amount or no bond at all.

Board members did not discuss the merits of specific projects at the meeting, instead deciding to wait until after public hearings to incorporate feedback from stakeholders, but some trustees did ask clarifying questions.

Trustee Willie Tenorio asked why the administration’s proposal to buy 48 new school buses had been reduced by the committee members to 28. Savoy said committee members tried to reduce the costs of projects if possible. While 48 buses would be part of a five-year plan, Savoy said, 28 buses would last the district about three years.

But, Savoy said, the anticipated growth of the district made it clear there will likely need to be another HCISD bond issued sooner.
“Since we’re likely going to have another bond within three years or so, we wouldn’t need the entire 48 on this one necessarily,” Savoy said.

For supporting materials and updates on the bond process, visit the districts website: www.hayscisd.net/bond2020.

By Katharine Jose

Katharine Jose has written about politics, infrastructure, environment, development, natural disasters and other subjects for The New York Observer, Capital New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She was an editor for several publicat


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