Cumby Independent School District Board of Trustees are again calling for a bond election for much-needed improvements and renovation at the elementary campus, and associated construction and renovations.
Cumby ISD voters also were asked during the Nov. 5, 2019 election to consider approving the bond. In the early ballots, 60 percent of voters were in favor of the bond for school improvements and 40 percent voted against it. However, once Election Day totals were in, the bond was defeated by only 10 votes.
Cumby residents on May 2 will be asked to vote either for or against “THE ISSUANCE OF $6,200,000 OF BONDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, ACQUISITION, RENOVATION AND EQUIPMENT OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN THE DISTRICT AND ATHLETIC TRACK AND FIELD FACILITIES AND ASSOCIATED IMPROVEMENTS; AND THE LEVYING OF A TAX SUFFICIENT, WITHOUT LIMIT AS TO RATE OR AMOUNT, TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE BONDS AND TO PAY THE COSTS OF ANY CREDIT AGREEMENTS EXECUTED OR AUTHORIZED IN ANTICIPATION OF, IN RELATION TO, OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE BONDS. THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”
The proposed improvement plan would allow the elementary campus to be more secure. That would include an 11,200-square foot elementary addition with eight classrooms at the end of the existing elementary building, drainage improvements and cafeteria expansion behind the elementary. A new playground would be enclosed behind the expanded cafeteria.
Additional parking and drives, sidewalks and canopies would be included in the costs as would secure entry points.
A new metal shop for vocational technology and career and technology classes would accommodate changes in education to provide more students with opportunities for more industry certifications and as many college and career credits as possible.
Portable buildings, which are designed to last up to 10 years but have been on the campus since 2001, would be demolished and needed abatement performed. To maintain the buildings would be a significant cost, as repairs are needed for stability, security and functionality
Getting students out of the portable buildings is also a safety concern for the district, as it would providing more security for students. If the district is put on lock-down, students attending classes in the portable buildings on campus cannot be reached and there’s no means to move them to safety without being exposed, school officials report.
Currently, if a fire or tornado drill is held, the only way they know is through intercom or someone physically coming to the campus to notify them. In the event of a tornado, the students would have to exit the portable buildings to walk to the safety of the main building. In the event of a real tornado, that would be a serious threat to the children’s safety as they’d be out in the elements.
The field would need to be relocated to facilitate the expansion; it’d be moved west of the current school facilities. The football field would have a compressed service track, which would keep students on the school grounds as opposed to running along the roadside in town for track.
Cost of Bond
In order to repay the bond, the ad valorem tax rate paid to Cumby ISD would increase. Senior citizens who qualify for the 1-acre homestead exemption would still receive it, but all other property would be taxable. Any rules applied to agricultural land would be factored in as well.
Cumby ISD’s overall tax rate, if the bond passes, is expected to be $1.5684 per $100 of taxable assessed valuation, with 50-cents going to repay debts. Overall, that’s just 1-cent higher than Cumby ISD’s tax rate in 2014, according to school officials.