Mildred school officials are taking another look at the need for new facilities, and may call for another bond election in November.

A similar bond election, for $12 million worth of new buildings and improvements, failed at the polls in 2005.

“The needs we identified haven’t gone away,” Mildred Superintendent Doug Lane told the school board Tuesday evening at its regular meeting.

“We’re bringing in another portable (classroom) and there may be another one on the horizon depending on enrollment on the first day of school.”

If the board chooses to call an election, they may also be bringing in some big guns from the Dallas architectural firm Claycomb Associates. Claycomb guides school districts through the entire process, including facility assessments, bond proposals, public relations and construction.

Kevin Smith, one of the firm’s partners, addressed the Mildred board Monday.

Any bond package is going to need grassroots support, Smith advised the board.

“You cannot allow any kind of bond project to become the superintendent’s bond package,” Smith said. “It’s doomed to fail.”

The previous bond proposal, which went to voters in March 2005, included a new field house, new elementary school, expansion of the vocational education building, and a new band hall/auditorium. School officials believe it failed because of the expense for extracurricular activities.

“We had a number of people who said they would support classrooms, but not athletic facilities,” Lane explained. “But it’s a vital part of it. I just feel like our folks out there need to know more about the circumstances. Secondly, I think it’s probably imperative that we in the district provide them with some kind of options or choices.”

A new bond proposal could include different sections, giving voters the ability to pick and choose from among the projects, Lane pointed out.

If the district chooses to call the election, the decision has to be made by the week of Aug. 21, in order to be put on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Mildred currently has one combination elementary and high school. Overcrowding has caused the district to add five portable classrooms. If granted the go-ahead by taxpayers, the plan calls for the construction of a new elementary school. The current building would then be made over into a combination middle school and high school.

“Mildred is in dire need of new facilities,” said Marilyn Mitchell, president of the board.

—————

Janet Jacobs may be contacted via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com

Recommended for you