PANHANDLE, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Voters in Panhandle ISD will have three bond propositions totaling more than $19.62 million to consider on the Nov. 7 ballot.
According to Panhandle ISD, it has been 17 years since the district’s last bond. Officials also said every student and campus in the district would be impacted.
Click here to see the 2023 bond proposal.
Prop. A would give the district more than $13.14 million to address aging school facilities. Superintendent Blair Brown said the average age of the buildings affected by the bond is 59 years.
“That includes renovations to the high school, the junior high, the elementary playground, district wide maintenance, new buses, career and technology, education and fine art equipment,” said Brown.
He noted that Prop. A is full of projects that need to be completed in the next 10 to 15 years.
“Those are really the items that we feel like can really we can move those into debt service money, and really free up money to help us help us pay our teachers.”
Prop. B is for $5.62 million for Panther Stadium, where the current fieldhouse is 68 years old.
“We have a field house that was built in the 50s and, of course, you know, it needs tore down, and I believe everybody knows that it does,” Brown said, giving an overview of what the bond proposition would accomplish. “A new Fieldhouse and the locker rooms, artificial turf replacement, track resurfacing, and stadium bleacher upgrades.”
Brown said turf typically needs to be replaced every 8 to 10 years, noting their turf field will be 10 years old next year.
“We typically resurface our track every 10 years, sometimes sooner but we’ve been able to get by this this past 10 years,” he continued. “But those things have to be done. Also, some of the lighting at the stadium. People just think you can go up and change one light bulb, but that’s not how that works.”
Prop. C is for $500,000 and would cover school technology improvements, including devices for teachers and students.
“Basically proposition C is to just replace devices that we that we already have, that we know are going to have to be replaced again over that 10 or 15 year period,” said Brown. “We do provide Chromebooks for our students. We’re not right now on a one-to-one basis, but we’re close.”
If all three bonds are approved by voters, Panhandle ISD said the combined estimated impact would be $5.84/month for a home valued at $150,000. However, due to compression and a proposed increase to the homestead exemption, the average homeowner’s school district taxes would decrease by $44.89/month.
“They’re three good proposals. We feel like that it’s something that will enhance the school and enhance the community. But the biggest thing is, is we want to be able to compete, to pay our teachers and compete for the best teachers in the Texas panhandle,” Brown added. “If the bond doesn’t pass, then the school board and the administration will have to make decisions, hard decisions.”