Update for May 28, 2015

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HISD bond passes

By Jeff Berger
Anvil Herald Publisher

Voters in the Hondo Independent School District on Saturday overwhelmingly approved the $33.8 million bond package.

The final tally was 505 votes in favor of the bond, with 193 opposed, for a 72.3% approval rate.

The total number of voters taking part in the bond election was listed by the Medina County Elections Office at 701, meaning that there were three who did not vote. The total of 701, out of the district’s 7,099 registered voters, represents a 9.9% turnout. Of the total, 444 came to the polls during the early voting period from April 27 to May 5, with 257 more turning out on election day.

The bond, presented to the voters as a single proposition, will include new construction and/or renovations at all four district campuses, in addition to construction of a new maintenance and transportation center.

The HISD’s Superintendent, Dr. A’Lann Truelock, who has been with the district since November 2013, was elated over the bond election’s outcome.

“I’m very grateful to know that the voters of Hondo know how important this is – that the renovation and repair of our schools is a top priority,” she said.

“I’m also grateful to the steering committee for their help and guidance, and their unwavering belief that everything in the bond needed to be in one proposition.”

She said that the next step, following the Monday school board meeting, is to begin meeting with financial advisors, and get the process for how to sell the bonds.

After going through the legal process of requests for proposals, the district will then meet with architects, followed by general contractors.

Project management has been guided through the committee phase by Robert Gadbois of Owners Building Resources, and it’s likely that OBR will continue in that role during the construction phase.

“We hope that construction will begin in four to six months,” said Dr. Truelock. “I’ll apologize now to the parents and students of HISD for the coming two years of dust and noise, but what we’ll get in the finished product will be worth it.”

She said that some projects at McDowell, Woolls and Meyer can start later this summer.

At Hondo High School, however, there are so many “dominoes” involved, that some projects can’t be started until another project is finished.

“The first thing on the high school campus that needs to be addressed is the transportation and maintenance facility,” said Dr. Truelock. “We had talked to former Hondo City Manager Jeff Litchfield about the possibility of obtaining some land at the South Texas Regional Airport, in the event that the bond passed. He has now left the city, and nothing has been negotiated yet, so that will become a top priority when the new city manager comes aboard.”

If everything goes smoothly, she estimates that all projects set forth in the bond will be completed in about two-and-a-half years – about December 2017.

Trustees reelected

There were also two school board trustees up for election in this cycle. James Gonzales appeared on the ballot in District 1, along with Tal Gardenhire in District 5. The two incumbents had already been declared elected since they had no opposition, but they still received 82 and 61 votes, respectively, within their single-member districts.




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Hondo Anvil Herald
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Hondo, Texas  78861
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