By Geena Martinez
FORT STOCKTON - It's going to take more than just a few patches to fix Fort Stockton schools. The district needs a lot of cash for repairs.
School officials said a lot of the stuff that needs work in the district is stuff you can't really see.
However, if the bond passes, officials tell NewsWest 9 the improvements will provide a better student environment and can save the district big bucks in the future.
Aging buildings and outdated utility systems are just some of the problems the district is dealing with.
"You can't even buy parts or find people to work on things because it's so old," Fort Stockton High School Principal, Gil-Rey Madrid, said.
Some of the biggest issues are at the high school.
The building is 50-years-old and is in desperate need of a new heating and cooling system.
"It is costing us a lot more money to have to maintain the old equipment," Madrid said. "We're spending a ton of money plus our heating and cooling bills are outrageous because of the outdated equipment."
Madrid said that's not the only thing that's outdated.
"We're kind of maxed out on the infrastructure for electricity," he said. "It wasn't designed to take a lot of what we do now 30, 40, 50 years later with all the computers and technology that we have in place."
So to fix these problems, district-wide, Fort Stockton I.S.D. has proposed a bond election. Voters are looking at a $35 million price tag.
"The bulk of the bond will be the infrastructure of the schools such as electricity, HVAC, heating and cooling," Madrid said. "Almost all the schools are having roofing issues with leaking."
The bond money would also pay for security upgrades like cameras.
Madrid said it's important given how close the school is to Interstate 10.
"One of the things we're looking at is with the push of a button, we can lock the building down and unlock the building and keyless entry where teachers would have badges," he said. "We could figure out who was in the building at all times."
Madrid said the majority of the bond money would come from taxes on mineral rights.