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What is included in Calallen ISD's bond proposal?

calallen high school
Posted at 6:30 PM, May 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 23:37:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Early voting is underway and there’s an important issue voters in Calallen will be seeing on their ballot. Something they haven't seen since 2018 and is a bond for Calallen Independent School District (CISD)

“The great thing about the bond package we created is it really does touch every single student," said Superintendent Emily Lorenz.

Calallen has a bond committee, and from that group of 47 members, seven were elected to the Bond Advisory Council to prioritize what's needed, created a schedule and work around students.

Superintendent Lorenz broke down all the projects hoped to be completed if the near $68 million bond is passed by voters. Lorenz said this would be one of the largest bonds the district has ever had.

On the ballot you will see it in two propositions.

Proposition A

In Proposition A, it's split into five sections.

First on the list and in priority, according to Lorenz is safety and security. $5,509,000 would be allocated for safety and security to bring the district above the minimum state requirements. Included in that would be added and updated fencing around all campuses. Lorenz said two of four campuses are on a badge entry system, and they want to have all campuses on the same system. Money would also be used to update the fire alarm and intercom systems in the middle school.

Lorenz said $1.4 million from this year's district budget has also been put towards meeting those goals.

$12,204,000 would go towards academic improvements.

"What we're looking at, at most of our campuses, is just kind of a facelift at a lot of the campuses," she said. "So, really updating our lighting to LED which we all know that great lighting is important for learning. So, LED lighting, paint interior exterior, both."

For athletic upgrades, the district would allocate $8,902,000.

The current field house is the original one built for the school and does not have air conditioning in the weight room.

"It'd be a gutting of our field house and a renovation to bring it up to a higher standard for our athletes. Additional to that would be a girl's weight room and locker room renovation," said Lorenz.

The field house has a weight room all athletes share, so this project would add a weight room for just the ladies, as well as a technical room where teams can work on scouting opponents and watching game tape.

The money would also be used for an entirely new tennis facility with concessions and restrooms.

“Our current tennis courts, we’re having some soil erosion issues. So, they’re unlevel, and it’s making it harder and harder to play on,” said Lorenz.

Fine arts enhancements are what Lorenz is really excited about. The proposition puts $20,479,000 towards this section.

The current theater in Calallen High School is the original and hasn't been updated. The money would go towards a new stage and auditorium, adding a tech theater classroom and drama classroom.

“It was designed when Calallen was a 2A high school. So, we’ve grown a little bit since then. It would allow us, for example, on our stage, our band doesn't fit," Lorenz said.

Lastly in Proposition A is $8,088,000 for priority maintenance, which are fixes the yearly budget can’t provide like roof replacement and HVAC replacement.

Proposition B

Proposition B would put $12,573,000 towards athletic stadium upgrades.

Both the softball and baseball stadiums would replace grass with turf and the outfield wall of the baseball field would be replaced.

At legendary Phil Danaher Stadium, Lorenz said they want to add some fencing around the perimeter, replace and add bathrooms, buy a new entry system, upgrade to a video scoreboard and create a new press box.

“The nice thing about the stadium that people don’t always realize is Calallen is known for our great athletics, but we also have a phenomenal fine arts program. So, our band actually hosts three contests a year that are held at our stadium. So one, the largest last year, had 38 bands,” she said.

If passed, Lorenz said we could see changes from the bond begin in the fall

Election day is Saturday, May 6.

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