Tuesday, April 30, 2024

High Five for Bonds

If you don't live in College Station, you might not find this post particularly interesting or relevant. Feel free to sign off and come back on Friday. 😉

I don't write much about politics or elections, but this week I'm making an exception.

Tomorrow our community heads to the polls. The outcome of of this election - the ballot only includes two school-related bond propositions - will greatly impact our high schools, our younger high school students, and our future high school students, as well as the faculty and staff who work at our high schools and with high school students...which in turn will greatly impact our community as a whole. Tom and I care tremendously about making sure College Station remains an excellent place to work, play, and raise a family, so we are voting (I've actually already voted) in support of both of these propositions.

Below is a quick and simple run-down of why these two bond propositions are on the ballot. (More detailed information from the school district can be found here, and I'm happy to provide personal examples of how the poor conditions and/or complete lack of resources, space, equipment, facilities, etc. have impacted Will if you'd like that information.)


These bonds will: 

  • Renovate the existing fieldhouse to provide adequate, functional space for trainers to administer treatment and coordinate rehabilitation...because CSISD cannot currently provide timely treatment to AMCHS student-athletes.
  • Expand the locker rooms to provide functional dressing space...because CSISD cannot currently provide adequate dressing space for all AMCHS student-athletes.
  • Resurface the tracks so the surfaces are functional and safe...because CSISD cannot currently fully utilize the tracks at both high schools due to unsafe conditions.
  • Install artificial turf at both high schools' baseball and softball stadiums so players will have safer and more consistent surfaces on which to practice and compete...because CSISD cannot currently use its baseball and softball fields during or after inclement weather.
  • Add new/renovate existing restrooms and renovate concession areas so they are more accessible to fans of all ages and abilities...because CSISD cannot currently provide adequate restrooms and concessions at the AMCHS stadiums.
  • Repair parking lots, address drainage issues, and upgrade lighting to make facilities safer and more functional...because CSISD cannot currently afford costly site improvements at district athletic facilities.
  • Dedicate appropriate space for Audio Visual Production Program students to learn and further hone their AV skills...because CSISD cannot currently provide adequate press box space for students in the AVP Program. 


The list above is not all-inclusive, but rather a snapshot of what we're currently lacking and how these bonds will allow us to fix the problems. And yes, PROBLEMS is accurate. These bonds are addressing NEEDS, not wants. The end goal is simply to make our facilities functional and safe for every single student, coach, trainer, teacher, parent, fan, and community member who accesses them.

As I said, the list above is not all-inclusive. Below are a few additional thoughts and data points to consider when voting.

CSISD is growing. Rather than building a third comprehensive high school (though this was once the operating plan, doing so is no longer an affordable option), the district will "allow" our two existing comprehensive high schools to grow and eventually become 6A schools. This will happen in the not-too-distant future, and neither high school's facilities and stadiums are equipped to support the number of athletes, band members, choir members, dance team members, cheerleaders, AVP members, coaches, teachers, staff members, parents, fans, and community members they will need to support. We need to make these updates and upgrades now, so we are ready for the growth that is coming. 

As the parents of an athlete, we have traveled to and played in multiple different stadiums throughout our three years at AMCHS. I wish every voter could see how our facilities compare to the facilities we've visited: beautiful fields and tracks, safe and accessible seating, plenty of bathrooms and concession stands (I could go on, but this is already a really long post). *Spoiler alert*...the comparisons are embarrassing. Without these updates and upgrades, CSISD will not be able to host playoff games, which are an excellent way to bring additional, outside dollars into our district and community.

Our kids won't benefit from these bonds. As a rising senior and sophomore, Will will be long gone and Hallie will be on her way out the door by the time the updates and upgrades are made. But that doesn't mean we don't still want what's best for future students at both College Station high schools, and we're willing to pay for it.

Speaking of paying for it... "CSISD can fund all of the 2024 Bond projects while maintaining a stable tax rate. In addition, with the passage of the increase to the homestead exemption to $100,000 in 2023 along with a decrease in the total CSISD tax rate, most homeowners are seeing a decrease in their taxes paid." (sourceFor the 2024 bonds, there will be no additional tax increase.

Additionally, the 2024 bonds will save the district money. During the 22-23 school year, CSISD spent approximately $60,000 to use alternate facilities when district fields were deemed unplayable due to weather and/or natural turf conditions. Additionally, CSISD expects to see a maintenance cost-savings of $213,647 annually once the natural surfaces are replaced with artificial turf.

When Tom was nearing graduation and interviewing for assistant professor positions, we started looking at college towns to which we would like to relocate. We were lucky enough to have quite a few job options, which meant we could take into account factors besides "the job" when considering our future home. One of the most important factors we looked at was the public school system, and that is ultimately what brought us here to College Station. Strong public schools - and that includes academics, human resources, and facilities - make our community stronger by attracting the best candidates for jobs and allowing those who live and work here to be successful and feel supported.


Please vote how you see fit, but I beg of you, don't vote "no" based on the false information that is circulating. Our community's kids deserve better.

No comments:

Post a Comment