HUNTINGTON — Huntington school trustees have called a $19.295 million bond election for May 2.

The bond will be for new construction, renovation and upgrades on the district’s campuses, Superintendent David Flowers said.

The estimated tax increase is 26 cents at this time, Flowers said. For the average home in Huntington worth $95,000 with the state and homestead exemptions, that would be about a $133 increase per year or $11 increase per month.

“We want the voters to know the impact they would be looking at and how it will benefit the students,” Flowers said. “For the board to have the courage to call a bond, this is something generational.

“We’re just thankful to have the opportunity to get the message out and then let the HISD stakeholders make a decision if it’s something they can support.”

Some of the items that would be included in the bond are:

  • Construction of an 18,000-square-foot career tech facility with 10,000 square feet of renovation.
  • Construction of a new multisport fieldhouse (The current fieldhouse was constructed in 1982, and this is a much-needed upgrade, Flowers said).
  • A competition gym seating 1,000 and multipurpose facility including a new band hall and dance studio.
  • Safety upgrades including new cameras, entrances and doors.
  • New turf playgrounds for the elementary and intermediate campuses.
  • Renovation of locker rooms.
  • Renovation of auditorium for theater arts.

“We’re going to be transparent,” Flowers said. “We want to give the facts of what this bond will be, how it benefits the students, and then on May 2, we let the community make a decision after we have provided everything we can to share the facts.”

The board has gone through a roughly 18-month process to determine what would and would not be included in a bond proposition.

Ideas for including the construction of turf football fields and replacing the roofs on the intermediate and high school campuses were previously discussed, but the board ultimately decided not to include those in this proposal.

During 2018, 40 inches of rain fell during football season, which hampered the team’s ability to practice and play, Flowers said. However, 2019 did not see that kind of rainfall, and the fields are looking good, he said.

“Down the road, we could look at some drainage on the football field, but it’s pretty and green right now, and we didn’t have the rain that we had, so we feel comfortable,” he said. “Turf was considered, but at this time, we just felt that turf was not anything we wanted to include at this time in a bond project.”

The roofs will cost roughly $1 million and will be paid for out of the district's fund balance, Flowers said. The construction will go on during the construction for the bond, but the cost will not fall on taxpayers.

More information will be coming soon as the board gathers more information, Flowers said.

“Having a year to think about it, we just felt one proposition going out — what are wants and what are needs,” Flowers said. “Really, we’ve made this where these are needs for our kids, and that’s what we want to present to voters.”

Grace Juarez's email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

Recommended for you