Hays CISD discusses potential November bond election for failed proposition

Hays CISD passed three of its six bond propositions in the May 2021 election but did not receive approval for a $29.8 million administration building. (Community Impact Staff)
Hays CISD passed three of its six bond propositions in the May 2021 election but did not receive approval for a $29.8 million administration building. (Community Impact Staff)

Hays CISD passed three of its six bond propositions in the May 2021 election but did not receive approval for a $29.8 million administration building. (Community Impact Staff)

During a May 24 meeting, Hays CISD's board of trustees discussed a potential bond referendum for this year's Nov. 1 election.

The district received voter approval for three bond propositions during the recent May election, totaling $191,585,092, but three other propositions valued at a combined $46,873,599 did not pass.

Central to the discussion with members of the facilities and bond oversight committee, or FBOC, was a proposed central administration building valued at roughly $29.8 million, which was not supported by 52.8% of voters in the last election.

During the meeting, trustee Will McManus shared his belief that communication to voters was the main issue when it came to the administration building.

"The general feedback that I heard was that people didn't really fully understand the need for the administration building. It wasn't clearly explained," he said.

Currently, the curriculum and instruction department is housed in a 26,500-square-foot section of Live Oak Academy.

However, one of the bond propositions approved by voters included funding to convert the department's workspace to classrooms. Work on the conversion is expected to begin in January 2022.

The Live Oak Academy project was included in the largest bond proposition, valued at nearly $148 million, which was targeted at accommodating HCISD's growth. It was passed by 59.8% of voters.

"Our student growth for this district is is going phenomenally well," said Byron Severance, FBOC chair. "In 10 years, we're going to be 30%-35% larger than we are today."

The new administration building would also be home to other departments, and the project would also include a renovation of the former district transportation headquarters for additional space at the same location.

District 2 trustee Willie Tenorio noted previous discussions of relocating staff whether the new administration facilities received voter approval.

"If we had a pecking order, No. 1 would be still a purpose-built facility instead of just shoehorning people in where they fit," HCISD Chief Operations Officer Max Cleaver said. "Our No. 1 priority would be a purpose-built new facility that would last into that 10- or 20-year window, and if that is not a possibility then we'll go to other other plans."

School board members indicated their intent was to only revisit the failed bond proposition related to the administration building, and not the two other propositions associated with stadium expansions and renovations.

If the election is called by the board and if voters approve it, construction on the new administration facility would be expected to begin in January 2022.

HCISD's deadline to call a bond referendum for the November election is in August.
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


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