Early voting is underway in a bond election for Highland Park Independent School District.
Early voting kicked off Monday, April 23 and will run through Tuesday, May 1.
Superintendent Jimym Hannon says if passed, the bond will go toward updating the existing infrastructure.
"A lot of what we're doing now is deferred maintenance that is on some of the older parts of the building," said Hannon. "One little project we're looking at is updating our bus barn facility, parking lot deterioration, things like that. Some safety and security measures to upgrade facilities related to entrances - doors, hardwares, those type of things."
The school board is hoping for $15 million in order to fund several projects.
In order to fund the maintenance, highland park is asking to increase the property tax rate. That equals roughly $55 a year for a $150,000 homes.
"The current INS tax rate is a little over 12 cents," said Hannon. "What we're looking to add [is] just a little over four cents to that."
Currently, the district is in deb for roughly $9.6 million from two other bonds.
Hannon says those debts should be paid off in 2019 and 2022. He says bond elections help keep money local and directly helping students.
"To be able to pass a bond election, so that 100 percent of the funds raised through that part of the tax rate state here locally and are spent on Highland Park ISD students," said Hannon."
A few of the projects that would be funded by this bond include:
- Replace campus communication systems for increased security;
- Update the elementary drop off area for added safety;
- Renovate the auditorium;
- Replace and upgrade roofing;
- Upgrade restrooms to meet ADA compliance;
- Replace plumbing throughout buildings;
- Construct a new bus barn;
- Repave parking lots and campus roads;
- Update and secure the high school entry;
- Replace exterior doors and frames for increased security;
- Update the technology infrastructure;
- Replace rooftop HVAC units;
- Renovate the elementary gymnasium;
- Renovate high school locker rooms and showers;
- Construct a new east parking area;
- Purchase buses and fleet vehicles.
Residents interested in casting their ballot can do so at the administration building between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
All voters must be registered with a current address inside the district. You must also have been a resident for at least 30 days prior to election.
Election Day is May 5.