Voters approve Abilene ISD's $87.7 million bond package

Bond proposals pass in Merkel ISD and Ira ISD, while proposals in Jim Ned, Trent, Blanket school districts fail

Burns is happy with AISD Bond Passage

ABILENE, Texas - With 100 percent of precincts reporting, voters have overwhelmingly endorsed Abilene Independent School District's $87.7 million bond issue.

According to complete but unofficial returns, 5,163 – or 70 percent – voted in favor of the AISD bond proposal, while 2,188 – or 30 percent – voted against.

"This is an extremely important day for Abilene ISD. The fact that the bond issue passed is significant," Abilene ISD Superintendent Heath Burns said.

The bond package calls for building three new elementary schools on existing campuses and converting Jane Long Elementary into an Early Childhood Center, increases security on all campuses, among other things.

"Parents can rest assured that their kids are going to get, continue to get, outstanding education in our school system. Most importantly, the kids are going to be safe and secure," Burns said.

Burns said parents and students will start to see progress immediately.

"It's very reasonable to presume significant construction by no later than summertime," Burns said.

On the $92,659 average value home in Abilene ISD, the tax hike to fuel the school bond would be an estimated $48.40 per year.

For the latest results, go to http://www.ktxsproduction.com/elections.html

Meanwhile, Jim Ned CISD's $20.8 million school bond proposal failed.

According to 100 percent of precincts reporting, 1,094 – or 63 percent voted against the Jim Ned proposal, while 637 – or 37 percent – in favor.

The Jim Ned CISD proposal would have resulted in the closure of elementary schools in Lawn and Buffalo Gap and the building of a new consolidated one in Tuscola. In addition to the new combined elementary school, the bond would also have paid for new science labs in the high school and middle school.

Many in Lawn and Buffalo Gap were opposed saying it would have caused a loss of identity in those two communities.

Also Tuesday, a $14 million bond issue for school buildings in Merkel ISD passed by a vote of 400 (67 percent) for and 193 (33 percent) against.

New facilities for elementary and intermediate school students will be built in Merkel. The district's superintendent said the facilities are needed because of structural defects, outdated technology and safety concerns.

The Merkel taxpayer in a $100,000 home will pay about $267 more in taxes each year for the new facilities.

In addition, voters in Trent ISD decisively defeated three propositions for buses, technology, a track, a playground, a bus barn, and for parking, football and softball improvements.

Furthermore, a $3.7 million bond proposal for gym, classes and weight room improvements failed in Blanket ISD.

A $12.2 million bond proposal for a new school in Ira ISD passed by a margin of 61 percent for, 39 percent against.

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