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Robinson residents to vote on $31.5M school bond

Posted at 5:50 AM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-01 07:54:09-04

ROBINSON, TX — On Saturday, people who live within the Robinson ISD boundaries will have one last chance to vote on a proposed school bond.

Robinson ISD is proposing a $31.5 million bond to renovate, repurpose and add a new building to the Robinson Junior High School campus built in 1969. The project would also expand the Robinson High School Agricultural facility.

Currently, students at the junior high campus have to leave the main building to attend some of their classes. In addition, visitors of the campus have access to the hallway before reaching the main office.

Under the proposition, there will be an enclosed corridor, keeping children under one roof. In addition, the campus office will be next to the main entrance.

Robinson ISD School Board President Laura Crawford said the upgrades are needed.

"The cost of the improvements and the cost of the band aids that we continue to put in the building are outpricing the cost of what a new construction would be," Crawford said.

Robinson seventh grade math teacher Amber Clemons, who is in favor of the bond, said the proposed changes would benefit both teachers and students.

"The fact that we would be then under one roof would fix a lot of the safety concerns. The fact that the office will be at the front. The office right now has zero line of sight to some of the main entrances," Clemons said.

If the majority of voters who live in the Robinson ISD boundaries approve the bond, homeowners with a house valued at $187,095 would pay $25.21 per month or $302.52 per year.

"It's hard to find something that could be this meaningful for a dollar a day. You have to consider it as an investment in our children's future," Crawford said.

Some neighbors in Robinson, including Ryan McWorther, said the tax increase is not affordable.

McWorther, who has a child attending Robinson ISD, voted against the proposed bond.

"Taxes have gone up and rent goes up. People are struggling to make ends meet. They don't need this right now," McWorther said.

According to McWorther, he supported the 2014 bond for an intermediate school.

The single dad said another tax increase would increase the amount he pays for rent.

"It would be harder on me because I'm already living on a thin line financially," McWorther said.

He added the district should pay its two outstanding bonds before borrowing more money. The high school and primary bond is expected to be paid in five years and the intermediate school bond approved in 2014 will be paid in 2039.

If voters didn't participate in early voting, they can cast their ballots on May 4 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at voting centers in McLennan County.