The Sherman Independent School District held the first two of its week of Bond Awareness Community Meetings on Monday and no members of the community attended either of the meetings.
SISD Superintendent David Hicks explained the reason for this may be the variety of other available information sources.
“I know that our families are tremendously busy,” Hicks said. “What I’ve seen at the 12 open houses that we’ve done is hundreds of people at each school talking and sharing ideas with each other. So attendance at a community forum like this may be impacted by the fact that they’ve shared ideas over the last year and attended multiple events and they have the information they need.”
The district has morning and evening meetings scheduled everyday through Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m at the Sherman ISD Service Center located at 2701 Loy Lake Rd. and will conclude the week with a final meeting on Friday at noon.
The meetings are designed to provide information regarding the upcoming $176 million bond election on Nov. 7. The bond package will feature district-wide technology updates, a new high school facility, and the reconfiguration of the middle schools and elementaries in making use of the old Sherman High School building. The proposed new high school will have a capacity of 2,300 students and will be over 453,000 square feet in size. The cost for the new facility is estimated at $157,871,390.
Hicks said the new bond proposal is clearer than the bond package that was defeated by voters in May’s election.
“It focuses on our growth and technology,” Hicks said. “And those are issues that are very real to our students and our teachers. And our families know that. And by focusing only on high school in addressing growth and innovative academic programs and technology across the board, it’s a more clear purpose for what we’re doing.”
The bond will be funded by a 21-cent increase in the district’s tax rate. For Sherman residents with a home valued at $100,000 this comes out to approximately an additional $17.50 per month. Tax rate increases were considered between 20 cents and 23 cents, but the board of trustees settled at the 21-cent increase and said it would cover immediate concerns and allow some work to begin for the future.
“We’ve gotten feedback that people have already voted,” Director of Communications Emily Parks said. “This is a different election from the May election. They need to come out and vote again. If they are already registered, they don’t need to register again.”
Hicks explained the district’s goal is to provide information in as many different ways as possible. The official bond website and Facebook page will be sharing a variety of informational videos as the week progresses. Viewers are able to submit questions regarding the videos to the district and Hicks has promised a prompt response. In addition to the scheduled awareness meetings, informational mailers will be sent out.
Early voting for the election begins Oct. 23. Additional information can be found at www.sisdbond.com.