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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Landmark bond vote okays improvement, new construction

Landmark bond vote okays improvement, new construction

By Eduardo Calderon | Staff Writer

Last Tuesday on November 8, NEISD held an election over a bond proposed since May. This bond was no different from any other proposed by the NEISD district in the past.

“The bonds in North East are always looked at to provide equity in the district, along with growth,” Mehlbrech said, “Every bond passed has done both; build new stuff, or renovate the old.”

This bond called for $399,410,000 to improve the district.

“The bond is asking for the construction of one new middle school. The rest is renovation of some sort,” Mehlbrech said.

Renovations are to be completed in middle, elementary, and high schools. Some of the improvements include space addition, and whiteboards to replace outdated blackboards.  With so much money in play, questions of the bond’s necessity immediately came into question.

“When you’re asking for money in an economic period that isn’t strong, questions rise over ‘Why now? Can we wait for a few more years?’. Some think we build too much, [that] we have more than what we need,” Mehlbrech said.

However, construction of the new school would help middle schools throughout the district.

“For a district of a pretty good size, a new middle school would relieve Tejeda. It would no longer be capped, and kids won’t be sent somewhere else,” Mehlbrech said, “If construction doesn’t happen, there might be boundary shifts, and kids go else where even if they live in one region.”

If the bond were passed, there would be a brief period of standstill immediately following it.

“If the bond passed, they would get together and put bids together- there is no exact timeline for when construction would begin, but they would go as quickly as they can,” Mehlbrech said, “They must go through all the legal routes, permits, contractors. They already have the land for the school. A estimation that they will break land for it before the summer.”

Voting for the bond was originally intended to occur earlier this year, during the month of May.

“There were open-forums that invited the community to discuss and get feedback for the district.  After a few talks, there were over a billion dollars in projects that the community wanted done,” Mehlbrech said, “Then they narrowed, voted, and proritized the projects needed to form the current bond, but there were many unknowns about the economy.  For instance, gas prices were up at that time. There were a lot of unknowns about the effects on the district from the economy.”

The bond does deal with some of the high schools in NEISD, including Johnson and Reagan. However, much of it will be directed at the process of outfitting schools for a modern era in education.

“The money going to schools is important- it helps with keeping up with the generation with new technology. No more old classrooms, because they’re a turnoff for learning,” science teacher Valerie Vasquez said.

The importance of school size is of equal importance to educators as they size up the newly-approved bond.

“Additional space lowers the number of students in classrooms, offering more one-on-one with students,” she said.

Bonds also increase equity among the schools of a district

“Other schools don’t feel left out, and they get the same things equally,” sophomore Vanessa Ruiz said.

As the district moves forward with this significant sum, officials and local families hope that their funds will exist to benefit students and the district as a whole.

“The things created from bonds can offer smooth transitions within district movement of students,” Vasquez said.




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Landmark bond vote okays improvement, new construction