The North Lamar ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted Monday, February 10 to call a $48,915,000 bond election for May 2, 2020.
Trustees approved the NLISD Community Advisory Committee’s recommendation of a school bond package that will be presented on the ballot in three propositions with a tax increase of .2039 cents, for a total tax rate of $1.1739 per $100 of property value.
Area school tax rates include Paris ISD at 1.3534 cents, Honey Grove ISD at 1.28 cents, Rivercrest ISD at 1.28 cents, Cooper ISD at 1.2784 cents, Chisum at $1.15 cents, Prairiland ISD at 1.0995 cents and Clarksville ISD at $1.06 cents.
The Community Advisory Committee included 23 community members who met from November to January to examine the district’s facility needs, enrollment projections, vision for curriculum and instruction, safety and security, technology and financial capacity. The committee’s recommendation focuses on academics, fine arts, athletics, technology and transportation.
Proposition 1 for $29,980,000 includes Phase I of a new PK-3 Elementary School ($23,600,000) with a student capacity of 650. Construction would be on 35 acres owned by the district and model a 21st century blended learning style. The school includes a tornado shelter and space to expand. Also included is maintenance, safety improvements and new classroom furniture for Aaron Parker Elementary School ($2,940,000), the demolition of Higgins Elementary ($255,000) and Bailey Intermediate ($435,000) and adapting Everett Elementary ($2,750,000) for a 4th-5th grade campus.
Proposition 2 for $1.2 million is for 10 new buses. The district currently runs 15 buses 10 years or older out of 21 regular bus routes. The four substitute buses are 2000 models.
Proposition 3 for $17,735,000 includes facility maintenance to Stone Middle School ($3,855.000) and to connect A and B buildings. Facility maintenance and improvements would be made to North Lamar High School (($1,910,000), an addition to the NLHS Band Hall ($3,915,000), resurfacing of the stadium track ($590,000), replacing the existing football field with synthetic turf ($1,540,000), improvements to both the baseball ($1,225,000) and softball ($1,060,000) facilities that include turf, replacing turf and drainage improvements at the indoor athletic facility ($1,105,000) and district-wide technology improvements ($2,535,000).
“Our bond council is working to make sure the propositions apply with the most recent legislative session,” said NLISD Superintendent Kelli Stewart. “It is possible that technology may have to be on a separate proposition.”
Early voting for the May 2 election will be at the NLISD Administration Building beginning Monday, April 20-24 and April 27 and 28 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Five polling locations on May 2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. include Reno City Hall, Faught VFD, Direct Baptist Church, Aaron Parker Elementary and County Services Building (Old Post Office in Downtown Paris).
The last day to register to vote or make a change of address effective for the May 2 election is Thursday, April 2. April 21 is the last day to apply for ballot by mail.
The district will establish a website with detailed information on the upcoming bond election. District administrators plan to host a series of meetings to educate staff, parents and community members about the proposal. Once established, residents are encouraged to follow the bond website for the most up-to-date information.