ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar)- Ector County ISD’s Superintendent Dr. Scott Muri spoke Wednesday about several items impacting the district, including a possible bond proposal, as well as COVID-19 case numbers. 

Bond Proposal

Muri said the Board of Trustees met Tuesday night to discuss and deliberate the recommendations handed down on January 11 by the Community Bond Committee.

The committee recommended several items for consideration, including the construction of a third high school to help alleviate overcrowding at Odessa High School and Permian High School, as well as the construction of a Career and Technical Education Center to expand job training and career education. Muri said the board expressed support for all of the committee’s recommendations. 

The board has until February 18 to decide whether or not to add the bond proposal to the May 2022 ballot. If the proposal does head to the ballot, the district said it expects the bond to be under $400 million dollars. 

Muri said as part of the process, the district surveyed 1,000 people to get their feedback and that the “vast majority” of those surveyed expressed support for not one but two additional high schools. 

The last bond proposal to pass with Ector County voters was in 2012. A 2017 proposal failed. 

COVID-19

Also on Tuesday, the district reported that 351 students and teachers tested positive for coronavirus. Muri said that is the single highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the district said it is working hard to ensure that campuses remain open. 

“We’ve seen the impact of school closures,” Muri said. 

While some classes have had to be consolidated due to teacher absences, no classes have been canceled. Muri said the district is monitoring each campus to ensure that each can operate safely. 

To help mitigate the spread, Muri said hand sanitizer has been made available to everyone on campus. Additionally, high touch areas, including buses, are being sanitized multiple times a day. Some classrooms are using plastic dividers and spacing students out as space allows. The district has also furnished every classroom with an air purifier and school nurses have tests available for anyone on campus who develops symptoms during the school day.