El Paso

Tour of schools highlights campus needs at Socorro High

Exclusive ABC7 tour of Socorro High...

EL PASO, Texas - The Socorro Independent School District is turning to voters to approve a $448.5 million dollar bond on November 7.

SISD gave ABC-7 a tour of two of two of its campuses, Socorro High School which will be at the top of the priority list with a $135 million renovation if the bond is approved.

Pebble Hills High School is the district's newest campus with a state-of-the-art building to house its students.

Socorro High School was built more than 50 years ago and while it has seen its share of upgrades with past bonds, officials said an overhaul of the campus is needed.

"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 schools), it's like night and day," SISD superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza told ABC-7 last month.

During the tour, Socorro High School principal Josh Tovar told ABC-7 more technology-ready and spacious classrooms are needed.

Other needs at Socorro include refrigerated air through the entire campus, ABC-7 spotted six-foot tall fans in main hallways. While schools like Pebble Hills have practice rooms for all its fine arts performing group, at Socorro students have to share practice space.

Tovar emphasized whatever the outcome of the vote is on November 7, the innovation and learning will continue at Socorro.

"It's about providing that extra support with infrastructure," Tovar said.

All students Socorro students get to take a home a laptop for the entire school year. Tovar said there are many situations where there are not enough outlets or charging station for the computers.

Tovar said his students see the differences in what they have and other schools have.

"When I go see them at their UIL competitions or at their athletics they turn around and look at me and say 'Hey Tovar, look.' Parents see that kind of situation and they say 'it would be nice if we had this," Tovar said.

Other SISD high schools are not being left out, Montwood, El Dorado and Americas would also see improvements with an estimated cost of $95.8 million.

If the bond passes, SISD would also build two new elementary schools and one middle school, with an estimated price tag of $105.8 million.

One elementary and the middle school would be built to accommodate the Eastlake feeder pattern. The other elementary school would be built in the Pebble Hills feeder pattern area.

Other proposed projects include $23.6 million for support services, $20.8 million for elementary multi-purpose rooms and $67.5 million for athletic improvements.

The last time taxpayers approved a bond for SISD was in 2011 for $297.4 million. SISD said projects were completed a year ahead of schedule and came in under budget.

If the 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.

Election day is November 7.

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