School districts could add artificial turf, new facilities with proposed bonds

Posted at 11:41 PM, May 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-08 01:08:00-04

More Central Texas high schools could upgrade their stadiums if bonds get approved on Saturday.

Some of the proposed changes at Madisonville, Bremond, and Whitney include adding artificial turfs to their football stadiums.

Whitney ISD is pursuing an $11 million bond to build an on-site sports complex near the high school and middle school.

If approved, taxpayers with a house valued at $100,000 will see an approximate $7.77 tax increase per month.

This new multipurpose competition stadium would have a new artificial turf, which cost other districts an estimate ranging from $800,000 to $1 million.

Whitney ISD Superintendent Gene Solis said the artificial turf would allow students to play even if it rains. He said they could even play three or four games in a row without the turf being torn up. In addition, he said the turf would have fewer maintenance costs.

"The initial costs is a little more expensive, but the long-term benefits outweigh the initial costs,” said Solis.

Replacing the football field's grass with artificial turf is not a priority for Mexia ISD at this time.

The proposed $15.5 million bond will mostly be used to make repairs and improvement for athletic facilities, as well as security upgrades.

A person with a home valued at $55,000 would pay $8.80 extra in taxes per month, if the bond is approved. For a home valued at $85,000, a homeowner would pay $13.60 extra in taxes every month.

"Our guys can play out on the field in the grass. But we don't want our children to sit in classrooms or be in a building where it's leaking and those leaks cause problems with the flooring and plumbing problems," said Mexia Superintendent Dr. Sharon Ross.

According to Ross, the junior high gym roof leaks when it rains. Currently, trash cans in the hallway collect dripping water coming from the HVAC system.

"We've also had to move a game before when it rained and it rained too much and it was leaking in the gym,” said Ross.

The junior high gym is currently being shared with high school students because the gym and auditorium at the high school are currently closed. This is after both sites failed an air quality test performed earlier in the year.

“It's all about getting our facilities up to date so we don't have to put trash cans out and our kids are safe,” said Ross.

If the bond fails in Mexia, Ross said the district will have to go back to the drawing board. She added the district will have to take care of small issues, one at a time, with whatever it can afford.

For more information about Mexia ISD's bond click here

To learn about Whitney ISD's bond click here

To learn about Bremond ISD's $3 million bond click here

To learn about Madisonville CISD's bond click here

Other districts pursuing a bond election in our area include, Clifton ISD and Franklin ISD

Elections will be held in May 9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.