Dalhart ISD proposes $50 million bond for new campus

VIDEO: Dalhart ISD proposes $50 million bond for new campus
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 8:24 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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Dalhart, Texas (KFDA) - Dalhart Independent School District has a $50 million bond proposition before voters this year.

For the past 18 months, the school district created a “facility improvement committee” made up of parents, community members, board members and staff, to assess the district’s necessities.

The $50 million bond would go towards baseball and softball field improvements and renovations throughout the schools.

However, the number one priority is a new campus for 3rd through 5th graders.

“That campus was built in 1951 and it was initially built to be a high school. So it was never built to serve students in grades three through five. The biggest takeaways that we have addressing the intermediate school is just space and safety,” says Jeff Byrd, Superintendent of Dalhart Independent School District.

According to Byrd, they decided on building a new campus based on the general rule of thumb which is: if it costs more than 50 percent to renovate, build it yourself.

It would have cost Dalhart ISD 82 percent to renovate and it wouldn’t have given them any more space or keep the children safer.

The intermediate school in Dalhart is over 70 years old. The district says it is not an ideal learning environment for 3rd through 5th graders.

“I mean, we’re duct taping and band aiding and to keeping buildings heated and cooled,” said Bryd.

Dalhart ISD Bond Proposed Projects
Dalhart ISD Bond Proposed Projects(Jeff Byrd)

“Most of the people who live here don’t live in houses that are 70 years old, and we probably shouldn’t be putting our kids in schools that are 70 years old,” says Dyke Rogers, Dalhart community member. “It’s an investment that needs to be made in our kids and our teachers.”

Rogers says if the bond were to pass, the impact would be far greater than the students and faculty.

“I’m an employer here, when we recruit people to come to town, the quality of the school system is important. We got really good teachers. Our students deserve to have it and our teachers deserve to have it as good of facilities as they have elsewhere,” said Rogers.

Rogers says he was surprised at who pays for this bond.

“Most of this bond is going to be paid for by inventories and commercial entities not really agriculture. I think that’s a misgiving that a lot of people in an ag community believe that the agriculture pays all the bills, and it really doesn’t in this case,” explains Rogers.

Byrd says he has been frequently asked what will happen if the bond fails. He says, “We’re still going to show up, work hard, and love kids and score well on our state assessments.”

According to Bryd, so far there has been a great turnout with 700 early voters at the polls.

Dalhart Tax Rates Before Election
Dalhart Tax Rates Before Election(Jeff Byrd)
Dalhart Tax Rates After Election
Dalhart Tax Rates After Election(Jeff Byrd)