Voters can go to the polls starting Monday to cast ballots early by personal appearance in the Sulphur Springs Independent School District trustees election and North Hopkins Independent School District $5 million bond election for a new elementary building.
Yantis ISD will not be required to hold a trustees election. Incumbents Dwayne Attaway and Kay Glenn will continue to serve in the seats for three more years as they were unchallenged in their bids for reelection to the two seats on Yantis’ board.
In North Hopkins, voters will decide whether or not the school will sell up to $5 million in bonds to construct a new elementary building on the current property which would house 14 classrooms plus offices for elementary.
A $5 million bond would raise the tax rate to a maximum of $1.2366 per $100 of property value, an increase of about 8.5 cents, according to the order of election signed by NHISD Board President Lori Timko.
After discussing the matter with a community committee and weighing the options, North Hopkins Independent School District trustees voted Feb. 27 to call for a bond election for a new elementary classroom addition to help with space issues due to district growth over the last two years.
“We’re averaging 480 kids. We’ve not been below that the last two years. We were about 450 before that. At one time, we reached 506 this year,” NHISD Superintendent Donna George said, adding that state teacher-student ratios in elementary classes and limited amount of classroom space have made that growth a challenge at times, depending on what grades the growth was experienced in. “With over 480 children, if we grow some more, we have no more usable classroom space.”
George said that building a new addition to house 14 classrooms plus offices for elementary would free up space in the current elementary wing for special classes for elementary and other grade levels, such as pull-out classes and a computer lab — which has outgrown its current assignments — and for additional class sections should they be required due to enrollment.
District officials had BWA Architects of Dallas draft a proposed plan so community members could better see what the proposed addition would look like and where it’d be placed on the existing school grounds. A copy of the document can be downloaded from www.northhopkins.net by clicking on “North Hopkins Elementary Building Plan.”
“We evaluated need versus what we’d like to have. I think we’ve been very conservative. We’d love to have a big new facility with all the bells and whistles. This will be simple and nice, but not extravagant. It will meet our needs,” George said earlier this month. If there are any funds left over after the new addition is completed, the district would use that money for upgrades such as painting and new carpeting at the older buildings.
George pointed out that the existing bond obligations will be paid off in 2016, so in two years, the bond for the new addition “would be the only debt we have in the next two years.
Early voting in NHISD bond election will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, April 28-May 6, in the main office at NHISD.
Election Day polling will be conducted Saturday, May 10, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in NHISD Administration Building.
Applications for ballots by mail must be received no later than the close of business on May 1. They should be mailed to Voting Clerk Sharlene Brice, 3675 FM 71 West, Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482.
In Sulphur Springs, voters will be asked to choose two of the three candidates to serve full three-year terms on SSISD Board of Trustees. Candidates include incumbent Tammy Cooper and challengers Robbin Vaughn and Robert Cody. The seats are at-large so the two candidates receiving the most votes will win the election.
Vaughn is a probation officer. Cooper, a former SSISD educator and now full-time mom, is seeking a second term on the board. She currently serves as secretary of the school board. Cody is a corporate controller for Grocery Supply Company.
SSISD?Incumbent Jacquelyn Brice opted not to seek a fifth term on the board.
Early voting by personal appearance will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, April 28-May 6 at 201 North Davis St., with extended voting for 12-hours on Tuesday, April 29 and Thursday, May 1.
Election day voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in SSISD Administration Building, 631 Connally St.
Applications for ballots by mail must be received May 1. Applications for ballots by mail should be mailed to Gale Roberts, 201 North Davis St., Sulphur Springs, Texas 75482.
Michael Wolf will serve as election judge and Celia Bagwell as alternate judge for the SSISD trustees election.
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