ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Ector County I.S.D. School Board has approved a school bond election for November.
The school board voted unanimously to add the $291 million school bond election to the ballot.
On Thursday night, a motion was made by the school board to increase the initial $287 million bond to $291 million, which was later approved.
We're told during discussion, Dr. Steve Brown, asked the district to find out what it would cost to renovate the girls' locker rooms at Permian High School, upgrade the weight room at Odessa High School and renovate all of the bathrooms at Ratliff Stadium. The cost of those additions would add $4.5 million more to the bond, making the new bond just over $291 million.
"$291 million, that is staggering. I think it's important that the community understands what we are going to do with the money," said Delma Abalos, ECISD School Board, District 2 Representative.
On Tuesday, the E.C.I.S.D. Bond Advisory Committee made the $287 million school bond recommendation to the school board.
The committee met eight times and reviewed 41 different decision points before deciding on 7 immediate priorities.
Those priorities include:
- Life cycle improvements - such as roofing, HVAC, plumbing, window replacements at every campus;
- Secure front entry vestibules at every school;
- Fire & life safety upgrades at every campus;
- A district-wide fiber network;
- A new comprehensive high school for 2,500 students;
- Conversion of Ector MS to a high school for 1,500 students;
- A new middle school to replace Ector MS
"They really are two parts of a strategic plan to take us where we want to go which is one of the best school districts in the state of Texas. We feel like we're making progress but we have a lot of issues that we're facing," said Mike Adkins, Spokesperson for E.C.I.S.D. "It's urgent right now but they think within a year or two it's going to be even more urgent and they would like to have a plan in place to get ahead of that curve."
The tax impact for the average home in Odessa will be $14.23 per month or $170.75 per year if the bond is approved by voters.
We're told the school board also voted unanimously to include a Tax Ratification Election in November as well.
"Now we have really reached a point where we can deliver on that promise to all of the citizens of Odessa," said Gene Collins, Bond Advisory Committee Member.
If voters approve the Tax Ratification Election, that means that a tax rate would be raised for Ector County ISD, which hasn't been done in nine years. The new tax rate would go up from $1.15 to $1.28 per $100 valuation, if approved.