By Andy Ross
Killeen Daily Herald
Salado Independent School District voters are preparing to consider an $11.5 million bond issue the district has pitched in order to fund major upgrades to athletic facilities and a new agriculture barn.
During a Feb. 21 SISD board meeting, trustees unanimously approved a call for a bond election to take place May 14.
Included in the plan being floated to the voters is a new 3,000-seat football stadium, a baseball and softball stadium, tennis courts, a field house, additional parking space and a gymnasium expansion. A 98,500-square-foot agriculture barn for vocational programs is also included in the master plan, which calls for using land surrounding the new Salado High School on Farm-to-Market 2484.
All athletic events take place at facilities at the old high school - which is now the junior high school building - on Thomas Arnold Road in Salado.
Lyndal Cabaniss, the district's finance director, said on Friday that SISD administrators and board members have been working on the master plan for well over a year.
"They have tweaked it and revised it for a couple of years," Cabaniss said. "The board had considered calling for the election last year, but felt like we were not quite ready yet. So that is the reason it was delayed it until May."
Bob Denton, SISD interim superintendent, was out of the office Friday and unavailable to comment on the bond election.
Based upon current property value estimates, Cabaniss said bond advisers have predicted the district's debt service portion of its tax rate could increase by 15 cents, bringing the total tax rate to $1.468 per $100 valuation, if voters approve the bond package.
SISD's current tax rate stands at $1.318 per $100 valuation. The $1.04 maintenance and operations portion of SISD's rate is the maximum amount allowed without voter approval.
Contact Andy Ross at email@example.com or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHeducation.