FRITCH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Residents who reside within the Sanford-Fritch Independent School District are being called on to make the decision on a $5 million bond in November, which would fund improvements to the district’s elementary school, junior high and high school if passed.
According to documents from the district, the bond would fund the following renovations:
- Elementary School Renovations: Remove vinyl from all the walls; replace the windows; remodel the hallways; remodel the large playground; reimburse emergency expenses from Pre-K wing;
- Junior High Renovations: Remodel the playground; add a security door outside the office; purchase new band instruments;
- High School renovations: Remodel the gym and the auditorium restrooms; purchase new band instruments; re-sod the football field, and install new football goalposts.
The district states that the improvements would require a projected maximum of 12 additional cents to the interest and sinking fund portion of the tax rate. Officials believe this would help the district qualify for the state of Texas’s existing debt allotment funding program, allowing Sanford-Fritch ISD to receive an estimated $3.3 million from the state to help pay the annual principal and interest over the life of the bond.
However, this would increase the residents’ tax payment to the district, with an estimated $2.50 monthly impact for taxes on a $25,000 home, a figure which doubles every time the value of the home doubles. However, taxes will not be impacted for anyone who is 65 years of age or older.
Jason Garrison, the superintendent for Sanford-Fritch ISD, said last year’s winter storm highlighted some of the necessary improvements for the district’s campuses, particularly the district’s elementary campus.
“We had to do some emergency repairs down there at the time to fix our Kindergarten wing,” he said. “With that, we found some other issues, and in order for us to fix them, we had to call a bond election. We are wanting to update and remodel the facilities…We just found several things that needed to be updated with the elementary. So a majority of the bond is going to elementary renovations.”
But along with the improvements to the elementary campus, Garrison said it was important for the district to add improvements to the junior high and the high school as well. One highlight for Garrison was the added security door at the junior high campus.
“We don’t have it in place currently. I mean, we do have a front foyer that when you walk in, you have to be buzzed in. But this way, you know, once we buzz you in there, you could talk to them at the front office and they wouldn’t have access to go directly into the school,” Garrison said. “We looked at doing it for a couple of years. It is a thing that we think is important so we added it onto this bond to make sure we got it done.”
Along with the safety and security priorities, Garrison said he hopes the bond projects will help the students’ experience throughout the school district, highlighting the purchase of the new band instruments as well as the improvements to the district’s football facility.
If the bond does not pass, Garrison said that district officials would have to look at what is in the current budget and prioritize projects. But the goal with the bond is to take care of as many of the projects as they can, specifically at the elementary campus.
“The majority of the money that we are getting out of the bond, that’s going to improve our elementary school and it’s going to update and remodel it, you know. (It’s) going to take out all the mold, take the vinyl off the walls, put in new windows,” Garrison said. “…We want the best facility we can provide for our kids to keep them safe. We feel like that this is important, or we wouldn’t have even called a bond.”
Voting Information for the Sanford-Fritch ISD Bond
Early voting for the upcoming November election will occur on weekdays through Oct. 29 in Carson County, Hutchinson County and Moore County. The details for each county’s early voting schedule are as follows:
- Carson County: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Commission Courtroom, located at 501 Main Street in Panhandle;
- Hutchinson County: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: the Hutchinson County Courthouse, located at 500 Main Street in Stinnett; Hutchinson County Annex Building, located at 1400 Veta Street, Room 116 in Borger; Fritch Library Community Room, located at 205 N. Cornell in Fritch;
- Moore County: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the following locations: the First Street Annex, located at 310 E First in Dumas; Sunray City Hall, located at 405 Main Street in Sunray.
Voting on Election Day will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m on Nov. 2 in Carson County, Hutchinson County and Moore County. The details for each county’s Election Day locations are as follows:
- Carson County: Carson County Precinct No. 3 Barn, located at 501 Mesquite in Fritch;
- Hutchinson County: Sanford-Fritch Administration Building, located at 540 Eagle Blvd. in Fritch;
- Moore County: First Street Annex, located at 310 E First in Dumas; Sunray City Hall, located at 405 Main Street in Sunray.
For more election coverage for other communities throughout the Texas Panhandle, visit MyHighPlains.com.