Dr. Roland Hernandez
Let me begin by offering my sincere thanks for the outpouring of support that Corpus Christi ISD continues to receive in light of several consecutive difficult years. When people ask what keeps educators going, it’s definitely our students. We have also drawn strength and comfort from knowing that our community supports our critical mission of providing K-12 public education to more than 33,000 students.
While our work inside the classroom remains our priority, we are also continuing our progress toward modernizing the learning environment district-wide.
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Voter support for Bond 2020 brings three new school buildings to our community: Creekside Elementary School in the southeast of the city, Cullen Place Elementary School on the site of the former college of the same name, and a campus replacement for Gibson Elementary School.
Now we are proposing the continuation of the bond program that has led to nearly 20 new school buildings, district-wide, since 2008. We are working with the intention of replacing or renovating aging schools in our community. Bond 2022’s $220 million proposal would fund two new college buildings, two new gymnasiums, an elementary school renovation, and new playgrounds and marquees in many of our needy schools, all without increasing the district tax rate.
When you read your ballot, you may notice the words “This is a property tax increase” at the end of the bond description. The Texas education code requires school districts to place this language on all bond proposals, regardless of the tax impact. As you may know, bond measures are funded when voters allow districts to levy a tax. Funding for Bond 2022 will come from current tax rates applied to property values. Certainly, property taxes go up when the value of homes goes up. I do want to point out, however, that the CCISD Bond 2022 will not increase the district tax rate. I appreciate that the board is prioritizing a bond proposal that keeps the district tax rate unchanged.
As Corpus Christi continues to experience growth in the southeast region of the city, we see the need for an additional campus for the college. The $90.3 million project would house 900 students, with the possibility of expansion should the need arise.
Carl Hamlin Middle School is a 68-year-old open-wing building. Replacing it would increase security and technology capacity and give staff and students access to central air conditioning in all areas. The $88.1 million project would be located adjacent to the current structure and house up to 750 students.
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Bond 2022 also includes additional gymnasiums for Driscoll Middle School and Adkins Middle School, consistent with the two-gym model we have incorporated into our new colleges. Adkins, although new, has a high enrollment rate and needs the extra space the second gymnasium would provide.
We have taken care to strategically plan our bond program so that over time, the entire district will benefit. Near downtown, Bond 2022 includes $12.9 million for major renovations and an addition to TG Allen Elementary School. This school, built in the early 1980s, is in fairly good condition. Over the past few years, however, we have noticed that the George Evans Elementary School building is approaching the end of its useful life. As these are two of our lower enrollment schools, we will be housing students from both schools in Allen.
It is important to keep in mind that at CCISD we value our employees and will work with our Evans staff when it comes time to find them roles within the District and keep them in the CCISD family. We have done this successfully in previous consolidations.
As we strive to educate the whole child, it is important to us to ensure that all elementary schools in CCISD have modern and safe playgrounds, and the bond includes funds to replace several of our elementary school playgrounds. Finally, we are always looking to improve communication with our families and we know that the electronic signs (or letter by letter!) in front of our schools are a great way to share brief and important information. With funding from Bond 2022, we would be able to repair or replace marquees in over half of our schools.
We take our role as the region’s largest public school district seriously. We also appreciate the positive effect that providing high quality public education in a contemporary setting has on a region’s growth and quality of life. We invite readers to visit our website to learn more, and we encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. Thank you for thinking of the CCISD Bond 2022.
Dr. Roland Hernandez is the Superintendent of Schools for the Corpus Christi Independent School District.