School bond approval ‘a game changer’

November 9, 2013

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It wasn’t just a first down. It was fumble recovery for a touchdown.

So believes Granbury School Superintendent Jim Largent about Tuesday’s $85 million school bond passage.

“I believe this was truly a game changer for our district and community,” Largent said. “The children in Granbury will benefit greatly for decades to come.”

Forty-year-old Granbury High School will be transformed into virtually a new high school, the superintendent has said.

Fine arts, and career and technology programs will be enhanced at the high school.

A ninth-grade wing will be built at the high school, which will move students from the Crossland Ninth Grade Center and turn that building into central administration offices.

A “robust” technology infrastructure for classrooms will be added at every campus, Largent said.

Also, more secure entrances will be built, “ensuring the safety of all campuses,” Largent said.

The bond passed by a fairly easy margin, with 57 percent in favor. The school board will canvass results Nov. 18.

“We are very appreciative of the confidence from the community,” Largent said. “In the end, our community saw that what we were asking for is needed, and they decided to make an investment in the future. It is always a difficult proposition to ask someone to raise their own taxes, but our community showed that they support what we are doing in a big way.”

The school saturated the community with information.

Largent estimated he spoke to 30 to 40 civic groups and other organizations. Public tours were given at the high school. Early voting was held several times at school district campuses. The school shared photos, diagrams, financial information and other details related to the bond issue. Yard signs paid by a Political Action Committee popped up over the district.

“We had a lot of people working on our behalf,” Largent said. “If you had a question about this bond you had a way to get an answer.”

Next fall, school taxes will increase about $170 for the average home and more for higher-priced residences. Even with the higher tax, Largent pointed out, the tax rate still will be one of the lowest in the area. The superintendent said the school will begin meeting with the architects to detail a game plan.

TENTATIVE TIMELINE

Sale of bonds in January or February 2014

November 2013-October 2014 – design and planning process

Completed for August 2014 (school opening) – safety and security upgrades

Multiple phases: November 2014 – Completed for August 2016 school opening – Granbury High School transformation

August 2016 – Repurposing of Crossland for central administration

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