School board begins budget work

May 21, 2020

     Meeting via distance connection on Monday night, May 18, the Hondo ISD Board of Trustees held a brief meeting. 

     Board members looked over the preliminary budget for the 2020-21 school year, and is now within a few punch-list items of closing the books on the 2015 Bond Project.

     The budget for the coming year is set to be adopted at a board meeting on the evening of Monday, June 29. Prior to that will be a public hearing on the budget.

     The proposed budget is based on a projected Average Daily Attendance of 1,797 students for the coming year. The projected total fall enrollment, which has been on a steady downward trend over the past five school years, is 1,870.

     One difference this year is that the Texas Education Agency will be calculating the Maximum Compress Tax Rate for every district in the state, rather than each individual county appraisal district.

     “There are lots of unknowns for the coming year,” said Dr. A’Lann Truelock, HISD Superintendent.      “Because of what we’ve gone through this year, we have to allow for the possibility of school being closed at some point next year. We know there will probably be some parents who are reluctant to send their kids to school just yet, so figuring out the required staff, the school day schedule if we have to go to partial days because of social distancing, may be difficult.”

      The Fine Arts Center, which includes a concert hall, two band halls, an art classroom and storage is now completed, with only a few minor items to go over before students begin their work this summer, prior to the 2020 marching season.

     Other items marking the conclusion of the bond project in the last month including the demolition of the remaining Lacy School building, and the demolition of the band hall/BCT shop.

     Eventually, new parking lots should take the place of the demolished buildings. That is all included in next year’s budget.

     The planned expansion of the Frank Holden Field House, part of the original bond proposal, was removed from the to-do list, and was replaced by construction of the dressing rooms and restrooms at the Hondo softball field.

     The field house, along with the freshman locker room, will undergo upgrades as part of the HISD’s 2020-21 budget. Those will include reworking of plumbing and fixtures, addition of a water softener, improved air flow, lighting and a fresh coat of paint.

     The carpet in the locker room will be torn out and replaced with a new non-skid surface as well.        That can be paid for through COVID-19 considerations, as the old carpet is a possible germ carrier.

     Roofing repairs are ongoing in the district, currently at Meyer Elementary, and will transition to Woolls Intermediate around the start of school.

     “Unfortunately,” said Dr. Truelock, “we’ll have roofing work going on at Woolls while we have kids in school in the fall. But once that is complete, we should be finished with all of our roof repairs.”

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