Reflection and revision is part of the learning process and eventually leads to success. The Mineola ISD Board of Trustees have maintained their charge to provide for the safety and security of our students in a quality instructional environment that supports every child’s academic success.
In reflection of the May bond election, we learned many things and have used that feedback to formulate a revised bond proposal set for November 7, 2017. Input we received from those who responded to the survey as well as conversations within the community included concern over a complicated package with the multiple phases, a lack of clear communication and the financial impact on the community. For many, the message was too complicated and confusing and too expensive. The information about the phases, what the bond amount covered, and how the remaining phases would be covered in the long range plan was not clearly communicated. We heard that the amount was too high and that the facility “needs” were mixed with “wants” as well and that asking for the maximum amount in tax increases was too much of a burden.
During this analysis, we also learned that we have a community that supports Mineola ISD and there is an acknowledgement that our school facilities need improvement. We heard that there is support for a bond proposal that addresses the “needs” and is affordable for the taxpayers.
The Board of Trustees discussed, met with financial advisors, architects, and through multiple meetings, discussions, consultation and analysis from the May bond election used the feedback to establish three priorities for a new proposal:
Reduce the bond amount
Reduce the scope of the package to the necessary components
Create one package including all construction and remodels
The result is a combined plan that will address all aspects of the facility plan while revising the scope and reducing the amount of the bond package. At the pubic special called meeting on August 15th, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously for a called bond election for November 7, 2017 in order to address the facility needs that will benefit and impact every student PK - 12 in Mineola ISD. This one bond package includes the renovation of 2 campuses and the construction of a new high school as well as the site development to connect all campuses.
Knowing that the elementary school is in the worst condition and disconnected from PK-2, moving grades 3-5 to the primary campus is a priority. In order to create a PK-5 elementary campus, the middle school would need to be relocated. The high school, while not adequate in providing for the variety of programs needed, does provide the additional size for the 3 middle school grades without using the majority of the buildings with uncontrolled access . The 4 grades of the high school along with the expansion of the vocational career and technology programs such as health science, auto technician, welding, and construction require specialized classrooms and labs. In addition, the auditorium, as part of the new high school, would serve as the district auditorium to be used by every campuses to benefit all students.
This process began 18 months ago with the work by over 82 community members and staff to address the needs on every campus with the most cost effective plan. Their recommendations were also built from prior recommendations in 2007 and 2014 from independent facilities audits. The essence of these recommendations to address the safety and security of our students in a quality learning environment still remain, but the method and approach have been revised based upon the community’s feedback.
More information will be shared at community meetings, on our website www.mineolaisd.net and through the media in the coming weeks. Please contact the district or any board member at 903-569-2448 for questions or further information regarding the components.