Highland Park ISD addresses two school bond propositions

VIDEO: Highland Park ISD addresses two school bond propositions
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 6:59 PM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 10:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Highland Park Independent School District has two bond propositions before the voters this year.

The first bond is $129 million for a career center, a new elementary school, two athletic fields, security, and buses.

The second one is $1 million for technology devices for student and faculty like laptops and computers.

Highland Park ISD Superintendent Jimmy Hannon, says that in the past, the district placed all needs under one proposition, but due to law changes in the recent legislative sessions, a second was added.

“We’re required to pull out technology devices; anything that’s a mobile device, it could be taken home or moved from location to location those types of things. That’s why we pulled that out in a separate proposition,” explains Hannon.

Hannon says they’re also looking at some athletic facilities in this proposition including, baseball and softball fields. The stadium seating would be small enough to not be considered separately.

Although the school district prefers both bonds to pass, they realize it is a “big ask for a district of its size” and the taxpayers would only pay a small portion.

The need for these enhancements to the school district was discovered over the past two years. Since, the school board has been brainstorming on how to upgrade the school in order to attract students to the area.

“What we have been struggling with is a lack of enrollment and how can we increase enrollment and work to build our school district and move forward into the to the next 10-year period or whatever and that’s through offering things that make us more competitive in the Amarillo area,” says Hannon.

If the bond election is successful, Hannon says the school district can increase enrollment which could lead to housing construction in the school district.

“We do have several potential employers that are coming into the school district that would lead to between 3,500 and 4,000 jobs,” says Hannon.

Highland Park ISD hopes these enhancements would give future employers the opportunity to live close to where they work and provide a quality education for their children.

Hannon also said there was a good turnout for early voting.

“I think at the end of the day, everybody in the school district is about kids, and I feel like if you’re interested in supporting kids and providing a greater opportunity for Highland Park students in the future, I think this bond election is a step in that direction,” says Hannon.

If Highland Park sees success in the bond election, Hannon says action could be taken as early as August of this year and they could start breaking ground in the Summer of 2024.