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Tuloso-Midway ISD could be getting a new junior high

TM Bond Election
Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 17:38:02-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Tuloso-Midway ISD is holding its first bond election in 13 years, and if all three propositions pass, there will be some major changes to all grades pre-k through 12th.

“We have an extremely talented student body, an extremely talented instructional staff, but our facilities are not up to alignment with that quality,” Tulsa-Midway ISD Superintendent Steve VanMatre said.

The $164 million bond package has three propositions.

Proposition A
$151 million dollar bond that includes upgrading the current middle school and building a new junior high for 7th and 8th graders.

The current middle school is 63 years old, 23 years older than the average school building in the district. 5th and 6th graders will take over the current middle school. With this change, 2nd graders will also move to the district’s intermediate campus, turning the primary campus into an early childhood center. The early childhood center would allow and welcome all four-year-olds in the area, despite economic status and qualifications.

“What we need is a safe, modern, and relevant 7th and 8th-grade campus with music, choir, fine arts and an athletic field. Right now, our 7th and 8th grades don’t have a field to practice on. The first time they see a field is when they play a game,” VanMatre said

The first proposition would also give each of the five campuses security cameras and more security when guests first enter the school. It will also allow for a new state-of-the-art Career and Technology (CTE) center to be built for the district's CTE program which increased from 67 to over 450 students in just one year.

“These are high needs that aren’t going to get any cheaper down the road. The community has an opportunity to set their school district in a position that will impact generations of Tuloso-Midway kids,” VanMatre said.

Proposition B
$7.8 million bond that includes renovating the district's natatorium and aquatic center.

“We have a state championship swim program and a learn-to-swim program that the entire community participates in,” VanMatre said.

Proposition C
$5 million dollars bond to upgrade the athletic facilities for high schoolers, like restructuring the tennis courts and adding turf to the softball and baseball fields.

“We won a state championship in doubles in tennis. We want to resurface those tennis facilities. Our parents want to support them, but there’s no shade when they go,” VanMatre said.

If all three propositions pass, taxpayers will see a 12-cent per $100 evaluation property tax increase. But, that could be offset by new state property tax rebates.

If propositions pass, the second and third will start immediately. The junior high will require planning and bidding, but the district hopes to have the new school completed in time for the 2025-2026 school year.

Early voting for this bond will begin October 23 with Election Day on November 7th.

Voters can approve or deny any of the three propositions individually.

“It’s our time at Tuloso-Midway,” VanMatre said.

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