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Abilene ISD board adds $87 million school improvement bond to November ballot

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 26 2013 10:16:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 27 2013 12:40:43 PM CDT
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ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene ISD's board voted unanimously to add a $87 million bond to the ballot in November to fix and replace old school buildings.

Before the vote there were hours of debate about the proposal.

Arguments surrounding the bond election weren't whether it was needed. Everyone at the meeting seemed to agree the money was necessary to update and renovate school campuses.

Former trustee Samuel Garcia said he is in favor of the bond, but he had hoped they would wait until May to put it up for a vote.

"It would give the community a little more time to study the issues of the bond," said Garcia.

Board member Laura Dyer said she thought it was better to address the issue sooner rather than later.

"The potential is that it will cost much more money for the repayment of the bonds as interest rates are going up and then we'll lose the advantage of having the summer to work," said Dyer.

Another point Garcia made is that the bond may be too low.

"The original number was $237 million and so at least close to half of that is what I think in my opinion is what will make an impact, but they're at $87 million and that will at least help kids in our district," said Garcia.

Voters will make the final decision on Nov. 5.

In Abilene ISD the average school facility is 44 years old. The last AISD bond was passed in the 2004 election. It totaled $76.5 million. Abilene voters, however, have shot down the last two bond elections, including one from 2009 for $25 million.