Red Oak ISD voters approved a $95 million bond proposition on Saturday, with 1,036 voters opting for the proposition and 489 against the bond.
In May of 2006, Red Oak ISD’s $90 million bond proposition failed with a vote of 279 for the proposition and 512 against.
After the failure of the bond, the Red Oak ISD board of trustees gathered a group of citizens to form the Red Oak ISD Growth Management Committee, which spent the summer and fall of 2006 conducting research, touring campuses in the district, discussing growth patterns, speaking with architects and speaking with community members.
The committee proposed the $95 million bond to the Red Oak ISD school board in December.
The bond will fund the purchase of land for a new high school and Shields Elementary School and the construction of a new high school and new Shields, as well as funds for maintenance improvements across the district, including remodeling the current Red Oak High School into the junior high campus and the current Red Oak Junior High into a second intermediate school.
The new Shields will accommodate up to 700 students at a cost of $15,685,063. The new Red Oak High School, at a cost of $72,582,652, will have a capacity of 2,400 students, with a core for 2,800 students. The new high school would include a ninth-grade center, fine arts center with seating for 1,200, agriculture building, competition tennis courts and baseball and softball fields, practice fields for soccer and football, a practice track and locker rooms for all sports. The CATE facility will remain at the current Red Oak High School as the district facility and Goodloe Stadium will remain the competition facility for football, soccer and track.
The package includes $6,752,000 dedicated for maintenance issues across the district. The total cost of the bond is $95,019,688. A 12 percent inflation rate was factored into the total price tag.
“We are very honored and humbled with the support shown by our parents, our staff and our community,” Red Oak ISD school board president John Hawkins said. “With the efforts that we put into getting the information out to the community, we just felt like if we supplied the community with the information hopefully they would be able to become comfortable with supporting the plans that we had.”
The district hosted a bond watch party on Saturday night, which was attended by Scott Niven, the lone finalist for the job of Red Oak ISD superintendent.
“Obviously, he was thrilled. He’s coming to Red Oak and we’re asking him to address several challenges and we want to be able to give him all the tools he needs to address those challenges. With the growth, facilities is definitely one of the issues he’ll have to address,” Hawkins said. “He’ll be back and forth between the (Liberty-Eylau Independent School District) and Red Oak until June 5, which will be his first day with Red Oak. We’ll let our current staff bring him up to date with all the work they have done on the bond, but we need to let Mr. Niven get comfortable with the plan and get up to date. Once he’s on board we’ll move forward.”
“It was the biggest turnout for any election in Red Oak ISD history,” said Karen Miller, Red Oak ISD public relations director. “I just appreciate the support from the community — they’re putting the children of this district first.”
Miller and Associate Superintendent of Operations Russ Schupmann spent much of the spring semester hosting meetings to provide information for voters on all aspects of the bond.
“I think with the growth in Red Oak they see the need and I do think they were informed this time. We just put it all on the table, what we need at Red Oak ISD to move forward,” Miller said, saying that increased polling places also contributed to increased voter turnout. “This time we had so many polling places - we tried to make it convenient for the voter. We had numerous voting places. Our early voting was encouraging.”
“It’s great — it’s what the PAC and the growth management committee after all their hard work deserve. The students of Red Oak are going to be proud of the schools they will have,” said Ernie Martinek, member of the growth management committee and the bond oversight committee. “We expected there to be a lot more voters — that was the goal of the PAC.”
Karen Stanfill, chairman of the PAC, said she and members of the PAC were relieved at the results of the election.
“There was some relief, of course. Everybody was thrilled that we were able to get the public’s support. I’m glad that people understood and recognized this is what the district needs,” Stanfill said.
Red Oak Council
Red Oak City Council also had elections Saturday, with results as follows:
Ben Goodwyn (I) - 262 (run-off)
Dawn Little - 273 (run-off)
Mary Grace Ribaric - 51
Jeffrey Smith - 57
Bill Brown - 321
X - Casey Hargrove (I) - 322
X - Andy Bell - 335
Kris Reeder - 305
The run-off election between Goodwyn and Little will be Saturday, June 5. A recount will be conducted for votes for Casey Hargrove and Bill Brown.