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Trustees Unanimously Approve Call for a May 2021 Bond Referendum


                In response to a recommendation by the Cleburne ISD Facility Advisory Committee, Trustees have unanimously approved a $90.7 million bond referendum for the May 1 election ballot.

                Passage of the referendum by voters will not increase the District tax rate of $.46.

                The action took place at Monday evening’s school board workshop. The proposal for a May bond issue, brought before Trustees at their January 19 board meeting, centers on a specified list of projects prioritized by parents, community, teacher and staff representatives making up the 24-member Facility Advisory Committee, in collaboration with the parent/community-based Academic Alignment Advisory Committee.   

                The called bond referendum reflects the project list resulting from the committees’ efforts, led by a major renovation for A.D. Wheat Middle School in its planned return to a campus serving all 7th and 8th grade students. The campus opened in 1991 following construction for use as the district middle school.

The proposed bond would also fund renovations to the Lowell Smith, Jr. campus, for service as an intermediate school for all CISD fifth and sixth graders. New grade configurations, pending passage of the bond, would have elementary schools housing students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through four.

                The 2021 Bond also addresses upgrades to campus safety and security and instructional/district technology, which were listed as top priorities in the recommendation from the committees. The recommendation also called for improvements to the auditorium and stage areas of the Don Smith Performing Arts Center. The exterior and lobby only were addressed in renovations to the facility, as a project component of Bond 2016.

The May 2021 bond referendum also includes the construction of a Student Activity Center to be located on the east end of the Cleburne High School campus. Included in the project are additional campus parking and a full tennis complex to be located on the adjacent Wheat campus.   

                During discussion preceding the vote, Trustees expressed their thoughts—and thanks-- for the months of work put in by members of the FAC. The committee members were tasked with reviewing district facilities, current and forecasted demographics, and researching potential capital projects in shaping a recommendation for a bond election. The FAC also revised the District Long-Range Facility Plan, established by the 2016 Citizens’ Bond Committee, extending it to 2030.

                “We owe members of the Facility Advisory Committee, and the Academic Alignment Advisory Committee, tremendous thanks,” Trustee John Finnell said. “There is no question that their recommendation was well thought out.”

                “This is a great bond package put together by the FAC,” Board President Elizabeth Childress said. “It is also based on the recommendation from the Academic Alignment Advisory Committee, with both groups working with students in mind. I’m all for rubber stamping what they have recommended.”

                A webpage containing current and ongoing information, frequently asked questions, early voting dates and polling locations for the May 1 election is being created on the District website. There is also an FAC webpage featuring information, presentations and videos from the committee’s November-January meetings.