Amarillo, TX - Childress ISD is trying to make their schools safer for students and the district is asking voters to help.
This November, Childress residents will vote on an $18 million school bond that includes building a new junior high school and making safety improvements to the elementary school.
Tuesday evening, school officials hosted a meeting to explain why they believe the bond is necessary.
After 89 years of service, Childress ISD said it's time to retire the junior high school and build a new one. "This building has outlived it's usefulness," said superintendent Rick Teran. "There was a possibility of renovation, but when we looked at the cost of renovation, it's the same price as building a new building."
The district said maintenance on the aging building is becoming costly.
Another aspect of the bond involves Childress Elementary, which right now lacks key safety upgrades. "We don't have sprinklers in that building for fire safety and we don't have a tornado shelter," said Teran. "So it would cover that and a couple more classrooms and some offices in that building."
Voters will now decide if the improvements are made, but not everyone believes it's a good time to approve an $18 million bond. "Education is a wonderful thing. It does a lot of good. But buildings don't necessarily make schools and an $18 million bond proposal seems exorbitant at this time for me," said resident Edwin Meyer.
The school bond would cost taxpayers with a $50,000 home about $63 a year -- a cost Childress ISD said is necessary to prepare the district for the future.
The district plans on hosting more public meetings about the school bond before November, so residents can make an informed decision on how they want to vote.