El Paso

SISD holds informational bond meeting

SISD holds informational bond meeting

Socorro Independent School District officials held an informational bond meeting Thursday evening.

The district will be asking its voters to approve a nearly $450 million bond.

The district held a bond election in 2007, requesting $397 million from constituents but voters turned it down.

The district held another bond election in 2011, requesting a $300 million, and the bond was passed.

District Superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza says the district has seen exponential growth in the past few years.

"We are in our seventh week of our school year and compared to the seventh school week last year, we have about 700 more students," Espinoza said.

District officials have said part of the new bond money, if approved, would go to Socorro High School for a complete reconstruction of the campus which will cost $135 million.

Espinoza told ABC-7 in a interview some schools need to be updated.

"Socorro High School was built over 50 years ago and it was actually built as a middle school ... and if we were to visit Socorro High School right now and then get on a bus and head out to Pebble Hills or Eastlake (high school) it's like night and day," Espinoza said.

Three new schools would also be built -- two elementary schools and one middle school. Espinoza told ABC-7 those schools would be constructed in the Pebble Hills and Eastlake areas.

Other high schools including Montwood, El Dorado and Americas -- would also see improvements. The improvements would include the installation of new air conditioning and the construction of large multi-purpose spaces to accommodate P.E. and health instruction.

A new student activities complex that would seat 6,000 - 8,000 seats is also slated for construction.

"Right now we have one football field for six schools so it becomes a scheduling issue," Espinoza told ABC-7.

A facilities advisory committee was put together to asses the needs of the district. The committee, a group of taxpayers, employees and local businesses were tasked with going to schools and seeing for themselves what the districts needs were. 

One member of the facilities advisory committee told ABC-7 she saw the need for air conditioning in some schools and felt some classrooms were tight quarters for the amount of students they held.

"There is a need for more space in the classrooms," said Deborah Herbert.

If passed Espinoza said the bond money would quickly be put to use.

"Projects would be completed in five years," Espinoza said.

If the proposed bond is approved, it will add $0.106 per $100 valuation in 2017-18, or $8.83 per month on a home with a $100,000 taxable value.

The election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7.


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