MIDLAND, TX. (KMID/KPEJ) – We sat down with MISD Superintendent, Dr. Stephanie Howard, about the 2023 Bond coming up on the November ballot.
“Really this has been in the works for the last two years, so coming back in the district in January the long-range planning committee had been meeting for 18 months, so during that time, they reviewed enrollment projections & projected growth, facility conditions, and everything related to the needs of the district. In November of 2022 they made a recommendation to the board,” said Dr. Howard.
She said she wanted to get the community involved in the decision for a proposal.
“For a community of our size, we felt like it was important to involve more people, so we brought a mix of about 100 people, parents, community members, business leaders, MC leaders, representatives from the City of Midland,” said Dr. Howard.
Dr. Howard also mentioned she didn’t want to add a cent to taxpayers with this bond.
“So this past year, our tax rate was at 91 cents, .914 percent tax rate. So on Tuesday night, the 19th, the board will be making a decision on the tax rate and setting the tax rate. The recommendation is that there will be a reduction, an overall tax reduction. But moving some of those pennies over to the interest in sinking side, allows us to pay off some of our existing debt. Ins tax dollars stay here in midland, they are not subject to recapture, because of compression being able to move some of those pennies over will result in 33 million dollars in savings in the long term for our taxpayers, being able to pay off some of that debt early,” said Dr. Howard.
We asked Dr. Howard in terms of growth what the district is expecting to see in the next 5 years.
“In the past 10 years, we’ve grown by about four thousand and were expecting another four thousand in 10 years. In the 2023-2024 school year, we expect to go over 31,000,” said Dr. Howard.
As far as what that bond would go towards….
“The recommendation from the committee, and I think it’s important to remember it is a recommendation from the committee, it’s not my bond, it’s not the school board’s bond, it’s the community’s bond. It’s a replacement for Legacy High School and a replacement for Midland High School. So two new comprehensive high schools. Those schools would be built to accommodate our 9th graders, so right now we’re 10-12th graders, it would take us to 9-12 comprehensive high schools,” said Dr. Howard.
But the existing campuses won’t go unused.
“In addition to that we would take the existing Legacy High School and existing Midland Freshman and convert those into middle schools. We would then have six middle schools, another middle school: Legacy for the maroon side of town and Midland Freshman for the purple side of town, that would take our middle schools to 6,7,8th grade configuration,” said Dr. Howard.
The funds from the bond would just go towards grade reconfiguration though.
“Safety and security upgrades to all campuses, secure vestibules which we don’t have now, ADA accommodations, then aging facilities. 62% of our facilities are 61 years or older. All of our facilities will be touched by the bond from mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and interior and exterior improvements,” said Dr. Howard.
A new elementary school would also be in the works.
“Then a new elementary school out northeast. So in the Lone Star Trails subdivision,” said Dr. Howard.
Here is the link to the district’s website with more bond information included.