WAXAHACHIE — At about the same time parents across the district received the rundown of the first day of school at the dinner table, the Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees agreed to move forward with a proposed $78 million bond election.
The unanimous decision comes roughly two and a half months after two representatives of the WISD Long Range Planning Committee presented the proposed bond on behalf of its 60 members.
“As we know, we are growing,” stated Derek Zandt, an assistant principal at Finley Junior High School, during the initial presentation. “[...] Before thinking about all of the items that are on this resolution, we were able to see a lot of plans and ask questions of the architects.”
The Nov. 7 bond election will consist of two propositions.
Proposition A, valued at approximately $65 million, would involve the construction of two elementary schools, renovations to Northside Elementary and a new agriculture barn built near the new Waxahachie High School.
As Zandt first explained, the planning committee took a "one-for-now, one-for-later" approach when requesting the two elementary schools, as it would allow for the second school to be built without the need for another bond. According to a district-issued press release, the second elementary school would begin construction when the district reaches 90-percent functional capacity at the elementary level. The release also notes WISD has grown more than 600 students over the last three years and closed the 2016-17 school year with over 8,400 students.
A district official confirmed to the Daily Light that $1 million for the new agriculture barn was previously set aside by the trustees following the 2015 bond election. The motion to set aside the monies from the general fund was made by Floyd Bates, seconded by Gary Fox and carried 7-0 during the meeting held May 11, 2015.
Proposition B, valued at $13 million, would fund the construction of a natatorium on the campus of the new high school. The Waxahachie City Council previously approved an interlocal agreement that commits $100,000 to the facility annually.
"Many Waxahachie ISD campuses are currently at functional capacity, meaning they may not be able to accommodate new students as Waxahachie grows," the district press release reads. "The 2015 school bond enabled the district to accommodate growth at the secondary levels; Waxahachie ISD will open a third junior high in the 2018-2019 school year, along with larger Waxahachie High School and Waxahachie Global High School campuses. The bond called this evening will provide room to accommodate anticipated growth at the elementary level in the years to come."