Moving forward

Joseph Brown | The ItemOne of Huntsville's oldest active schools, the current Gibbs Pre-K Center, will become a support and learning center under a proposed bond package for Huntsville ISD. All pre-kindergarten students will be integrated into their zoned elementary school. 

Huntsville ISD officials received a refresher on rules of a bond election Tuesday night, less than a month after calling for a vote on $127 million in educational and athletic facility improvements. 

Texas state law does not restrict board members from expressing their position on a school bond measure, if that person is speaking for his or herself as an individual. However, elected school board members are barred from making partisan comments in a public setting.

It’s a change from how board members have been required to act in previous elections.

“I’ve been in other districts that have gone through these types of bonds. In the past the advice given to the board was ultra careful, but I think we are in a different climate in terms of community relations,” HISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Sheppard said.

District employees are a little more restricted, but can still express a position outside of the workplace.

“I encourage everyone who lives in the district to register, get educated and vote. It’s your civic duty and it’s a right in our democracy that we shouldn’t take lightly,” Sheppard added.

BOND DETAILS

The ballot for the bond election will include two propositions. Proposition A is for $92 million in bonds and includes renovations at Mance Park Middle School and three elementary schools. It will also allow for the construction of a new fine arts auditorium and a baseball/ softball complex.

Proposition B would allow the district to Issue bonds for $35 million to build a 7,000 seat stadium around Hornet Field, a new field house and a relocated tennis complex.

If voters approve both packages, they will see a maximum 9.94 cent increase in school property taxes over time, officials said.

School construction would begin as early as August and continue through 2024.

NEXT MEETING

The next scheduled meeting of the Huntsville ISD Board of Trustees is set for March 23. 

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