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Barbers Hill trustees call for $75M bond election

MONT BELVIEU— Barbers Hill Trustees voted unanimously Monday to call for a bond election May 14, in concurrence with the election for School Board positions 3 and 4.
Board members cited an average growth rate of five percent each year during the past decade, with similar projections for future growth, as the critical factor in calling for the $75 million bond referendum.

District sees growth
“We just need more classrooms,” said Board President Carmena Goss. “Our Middle School campus is being renovated now to handle overpopulation. But with the number of younger students continuing to enter our district, we have to prepare now in order to meet their education needs in three years, and beyond.”
The call for a bond election followed a recommendation presented Monday by the community Growth Committee, which has met during the past four months to assess district needs.
For voters, bond approval would mean an average tax increase of 1.6% each year for four years. On a $153,000 home (the average home value in BHISD), that equates to approximately $23 per year, or a total of $92 in four years.
Following Growth Committee recommendations, Board members divided the bond into two propositions: Proposition One, totaling $65.2 million, addresses classroom space.
Proposition Two, totaling $9.8 million, includes classroom expansion for band, choir, theater arts and drill team to address overcrowding in auxiliary programs, an inner-campus road, and safety upgrades and other improvements to athletic facilities.

3 new campuses
Proposition One would provide three new elementary campuses.
One campus would house grades 4-5 and would be built adjacent to the current Elementary School, with the two campuses sharing facilities such as the cafeteria and library. Two additional elementary campuses would be built in the same shared-facilities design – one for grades 2-3 and the other for grades 4-5.
“We want to be sensitive to the economic times while still being proactive in planning for the future,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Poole. “Building campuses with shared facilities is just smart. What we’ve seen in our current Primary School and Kindergarten Center, which follow this format, is that the cost savings is enormous – not only in the construction phase but in day-to-day operations as well.”
New Road, facilities upgrades
The Proposition Two primarily addresses the need for more space for the 150-plus member Soaring Eagle Band, choir, drill team and defending State Champion Theater Arts program.
The inner-campus road would help alleviate traffic on Eagle Drive. Athletic facility upgrades would address critical needs for safety compliance in the visitors’ seating at Eagle Stadium. It would additionally provide restroom facilities for the auxiliary track and field that is used daily by four campuses as well as community members.
Since its inception in 1929, Barbers Hill ISD has had twelve bond referendums and all have passed with the most recent bond election occurring in 2005.
Early voting for the bond election will be held April 27 – May 10, followed by Election Day on Saturday, May 14. For more information, visit www.bhisd.net.