Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 25, 2014

CISD going back to drawing board on bond election

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — More than 100 local residents have been asked to participate in a committee on Corsicana school facilities, part of the second effort at a bond package by CISD.

The district has sent out letters to community leaders, students, parents and others inviting their participation in the process.

The committee’s first meeting will be March 20, and they’ll meet about once a week until May. They’ll be asked to study the problems, review the plans and then make some recommendations, including the possibility of another bond package, said Susan Johnson, spokeswoman for the Corsicana ISD. A similar facilities planning committee was formed two years ago when the district proposed its last bond package, a $54 million package that included both athletic and academic facilities. Voters rejected that proposal last spring.

“This is a broader committee, reaching out to an extended group of people to make sure we’ve covered all our bases,” Johnson said. “The community input is extremely important in determining bond proposals.”

Superintendent Diane Frost stated in the invitation letter that there are “severe deficiencies” in the school buildings that need to be addressed, and asked for their help.

“Aside from serious structural issues, costly repairs and the high energy costs associated with operating old and inefficient buildings, our schools were designed to meet the 20th century industrial age needs,” Frost stated in the letter. “They were not designed and built to meet the technological, social and economic realities of our time, much less the future. More and more research is proving that buildings can either detract from learning or enhance the learning experience. Unfortunately, in Corsicana ISD, our facilities need much improvement.

“Last year voters rejected our bond proposal seeking approval to move forward with our district’s facilities improvement plan. This year, we are going back to the drawing board and would like you to be part of the planning process,” the letter states.

It concludes by stated that with guidance from Corsicana ISD staff and consultants, the committee will develop a bond plan recommendation that addresses the district’s most pressing facilities improvement needs.

Although 100 people have been invited, others are welcome to attend and participate, Johnson said.

“If there are other people who would like to offer their insight, they’re welcome to participate,” she said.

The recommendation from the committee will be presented to the school board in June, in time for the board to call a fall bond election.

“It’s always possible, too, that this committee meets and decides nothing needs to be done, but it starts with the committee doing their study and research to determine what the recommendations might be. And then it’s up to the voters to decide,” Johnson said.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com