Big Bond for Fort Stockton School District

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

19 Million Dollars - That's the price tag for a big school bond in Fort Stockton. Wednesday, administrators held an open meeting to explain exactly how that cash will be used. NewsWest 9 found out just how students will benefit.

Fort Stockton ISD has been trying to keep their school at the acceptable or exemplary status over the passed couple of years. So, they've hired more teachers and raised salaries. But that money has to come from somewhere. Administrators said some of their facilities are in dire need of improvements, and that's exactly what they discussed at Wednesday's meeting.

"Do you want your school's facilities to deteriorate? Do you want transportation to deteriorate? Do you want your schools to be unacceptable? Or miss AYP? And really that's what it boils down to," said Fort Stockton ISD's Superintendent Ron Mayfield.

Mayfield said their bond is all about academics. Spending an extra two million dollars on new teachers and salaries has left them in need of some help.

"That two million dollars had to come from somewhere, so right now our transportation, facility upgrades, maintenance, mechanical maintenance, those issues are suffering, and we don't want to see those areas deteriorate," said Mayfield.

So where exactly will the money go? Mayfield said one area is Apache Elementary, where he said six more classrooms will be opened up.

"The other money in the bond then is to address some facility upgrades at the high school because it was built in 1962, and has not had anything done to it since that time," explained Mayfield.

That's right, not much has been done to some of the hallways since 1962, and Mayfield said it shows. He showed us one English classroom that had a broken window frame, walls with chipped paint, and other areas that just looked old. Other areas that will see improvement if the bond passes is safety and security issues both inside and outside the schools. Mayfield encouraged Fort Stockton citizens to vote for the bond even if you don't have children in the school district.

"Even though they may not have children in the schools now, perhaps they did at one time or perhaps in the future they may have grandchildren. And I think all of us want to be able to have good facilities, we want to have good academic programs," said Mayfield.

Mayfield also said the school district is still adapting to the growing numbers of students. This year they have 66 more students at all of the schools. It's also important to note that if the bond passes, taxes will go up ten cents, but will not affect citizens 65 years or older. Mayfield said the tax increase is small compared to the tax cuts Fort Stockton has seen from the school district in the past four years.