ALTO, Texas (KETK) – While many school districts will have a bond package in the upcoming election, for Alto ISD it is different.
They are not renovating, updating, or aesthetically improving their school. They are in need of completely new buildings after the April 13th tornados.
“We realize that no one wants their taxes to go up, no one wants to pay more in taxes, but at the end of the day we have to have a school, we have to rebuild and it takes a community-wide effort,” said Kelly West, Alto ISD Superintendent.
The bond will include a new section of the high school, as well as a new gym for the whole district to use.
Other amenities will include increased safety and security, parking lot improvements, underground gas lines, and up-to-code electrical lines.
The total cost for the projects will be $10.5 million, which can be covered with a tax increase of 20 cents per $100 value.
Residents over 65 will not have an increase in school property taxes on their homestead due to this bond election.
“The building is 40 years old so insurance doesn’t cover the entire cost of replacing it and we have not had help from our state so far,” said Paula Low, Alto ISD Assessments & Special Programs Director.
Alto ISD essentially had insurance money coming from two sources, Travelers and the Texas Rural Education Association (TREA).
Travelers paid $6,089,333 to the school, while the TREA still owes $980,000.
“The whole process of rebuilding will shut down because it would be turned over to the lawyers and we can’t afford for the roofing projects to stop or the rebuilding of our facilities to stop,” said West.
With the high school taking most of the damage, simply fixing the problem was not an option.
“It’s really not inhabitable right now, it is not safe at all,” said Low.
Through the two meetings, Alto ISD has been very clear on every detail regarding the need for the bond.
“We want to dispell some of the rumors that may be out there so they can get the correct message, correct information so they can make an informed decision when they decide to vote,” said George Martin, Alto community member.
Martin says the school is the heart of the community and what the district decides is of the utmost importance.
“I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote and to go out,” said West. “Early voting starts on October 21st and runs through November 1st.”
- Alto ISD to hold town hall meetings to discuss the proposed $10.5 million bond package
- RACE TO THE FINISH: Alto ISD gets ready for new school year after April storms
- ALTO STRONG: Tornado victims struggle to rebuild despite promises of help
- TWO MONTHS LATER: Alto recovering little by little … together
- ONE MONTH LATER: Alto putting the pieces back together
City of Alto holding cleanup days this weekend