From Staff Reports
The Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to call a bond election for May 7, 2022, in the amount of $79,989,625 million dollars during a meeting on Monday night. The bond includes two separate propositions. Proposition A is a school building bond to renovate the aging Corsicana High School, expand Career and Technology Education programs, renovate the agriculture barn and the Fine Arts auditorium, relocate the transportation center, and purchase new buses to replace buses near end of life. Core areas in the high school will be expanded to accommodate continued student enrollment growth. Proposition B is to construct a multi-purpose facility for extra-curricular activities.
“We look forward to reinvesting in a campus that is over 50 years old. Our facility has served students well, but it is time for significant updates and improvements.” said Dr. Diane Frost, Corsicana ISD Superintendent of Schools.
This bond was initiated in 2020 when district administrators held meetings with staff and community members to present the facility study and to prioritize campus and programmatic needs. When COVID impacted the community and schools, the decision was made to delay the bond.
The cost of renovating the high school is roughly $63.3 million, far less than the cost to build a new high to accommodate current student enrollment and future growth. Estimates to build a new high school with the same square footage as Corsicana High School were in the $130 million to $150 million range.
“Corsicana High School still has good bones, so it only makes sense that we renovate our existing campus and invest in facility upgrades that will serve the needs of our district for decades to come,” added Dr. Frost. “Building a brand-new school is simply not the best use of taxpayer dollars, but we can invest in maintaining our existing facilities to extend the life of our schools.”
The updates to life cycle systems at Corsicana High School includes roof replacement, HVAC, fire and safety systems, ADA compliance, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing improvements, bathroom renovations, technology infrastructure, new flooring and wall finishes and more. The renovations also include accessibility updates in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In addition, the campus will undergo modernization improvements and expansions to accommodate increased enrollment. The school will see improvements and expansion to core areas including the auditorium, library media center, cafeteria, and commons spaces. A new academic corridor will be added to alleviate student crowding in the main corridor and provide additional access to academic wings at the high school.
Science labs and Career and Technology Education classrooms will also be expanded. The improvements would add a culinary kitchen, expand graphic arts, improve the automotive and ag shops, expand space for the welding program and more. The agriculture facility, commonly referred to as the ag barn, will receive renovations and a reconfiguration of space. The district’s transportation facility will also be relocated to allow for additional space and new buses will be purchased to replace an aging fleet of buses near end of life.
The indoor multi-purpose facility will be utilized for a variety of extracurricular activities including band, soccer, softball, baseball, drill team, football, and other student groups. The indoor practice facility would provide a multi-purpose facility for a wide range of athletic and fine arts practices throughout the day, and regardless of the weather.
The district’s last bond election was in 2014 and resulted in the construction of the new Corsicana Middle School, updates to Collins Intermediate School, safety and security enhancements including keyless entry, security vestibules and security cameras, and other renovations throughout the district.
“We have always viewed this as a two-phased approach,” added Dr. Frost. “The 2014 bond program addressed the middle school needs, many safety and security items, and minor renovations. Phase two of our facility improvement plan is to address our aging high school. The current bond program will address student enrollment growth, major renovations at Corsicana High School, expand career and technical learning spaces for students, enhance safety and security at the high school, and provide technology improvements.”
The items were submitted to the board for consideration based upon extensive community input by a diverse group of citizens throughout the district. The committee was comprised of parents, community members, teachers, and other district staff. The committee was formed to determine facility needs and met for several months in 2019 and 2020, but the 2020 bond election was delayed due to the pandemic. The group reconvened meetings this winter to address the campus improvements and provide feedback to the district.
As a result of conservative fiscal management, enrollment growth, and retiring of old debt the bond program will result in a tax increase of approximately 7 cents. For an average homeowner in Corsicana ISD, this translates to an increase of roughly $98 per year or $8 per month.
The general school bond proposition is approximately $70.4 million, and the multipurpose facility proposition is $9.6 million. The election will be held on May 7, 2022 and early voting will begin on April 25 and run through May 3.
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