It was close, but Stephenville ISD’s $60.8 million bond proposal was passed by voters Saturday night with 56.12 percent (1,683 votes) for and 43.88 percent (1,316 votes) against.
“The district would like to take this opportunity to thank the countless volunteers that helped inform our citizens and encourage voter participation. Strong communities are a result of strong public schools. The support shown for this proposition is encouraging and validates the daily efforts of our staff and students,” SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood said in a statement. “The district's core values of relationships, excellence, integrity, initiative, personalization and growth were comprehensively represented during this process and will be the guiding influence as we move into the planning and construction phase. We also would be remiss if we didn't thank the individual efforts of Mrs. Christin Pack and the Vote For the SISD Bond Committee. Her leadership, passion and perseverance was central to the efforts that made this proposition successful."
SISD bond overview
The bond will include improvements to the high school and intermediate school including safety and security, additions and renovations and extracurricular expansion.
A full list of the projects can be found at www.stephenvilleisdbond.com.
“These improvements will result in a tax increase of 10.8 cents, taking the school district’s total tax rate to $1.3429,” Underwood said in a recent column about the bond. “For perspective, monthly impact for homeowners will be $9 for each $100,000 increment value, or just over $100/year.”
Citizens 65 and older will not be affected by the bond as long as a homestead and over 65 exemption application have been filed with the local appraisal district.
The next steps
Underwood said the next step is to canvass the election results and since the regular SISD board of trustees meeting doesn’t fall within the window of time to do so, a special meeting has been called for 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 14.
“We have already started a very high level of design phase and we will be planning out how we’re going to go through the process and get input from the staff,” Underwood said. “We will communicate to the public as we go through it.”
He added that the board will also try to move forward with the selling of the bonds.
“With the last bond (2012), it showed that they approved the selling in July so that would happen relatively quickly because we’re going to try to lock in those interest rates,” Underwood said. “But we’re really excited and it’s going to be so much fun.”
SISD board of trustees
In the race for the SISD board of trustees, Sherrie Evans and Dr. Robert Barberee came out on top for places 1 and 2.
Place 1 was up for grabs after the announcement that Gary Sult would not seek re-election, and Barberee was voted to the spot after receiving 52.67 percent against Dr. Julie Howell who had 47.33 percent of the votes.
“I’m very honored to serve on the school board and represent the district and I just want to thank Stephenville and all of my supporters,” Barberee said. “My best interest is to support the kids and the staff of the Stephenville ISD school district.”
For place 2, incumbent Sherrie Evans received an overwhelming 61.93 percent of the votes with challenger Sha King receiving 38.07 percent.
"I’m elated and very excited to be re-elected. This is something I’m very passionate about it, obviously,” Evans said. “I’m excited to serve three more years and extremely proud of the voters for passing the bond. That’s the most important thing, to support our kids."