Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD asked voters to approve a billion-dollar bond to refresh some of its school campuses.
District officials have identified some urgent infrastructure needs of campuses such as L.D. Bell High School, where the volleyball team currently practices on the tennis court, and Trinity High School, which has cracked pipes and foundation problems.
“It’s a size issue, it’s an infrastructure issue,” explained Deanne Hullender, the district’s chief public relations and marketing officer, according to the Fort Worth Report.
Both campuses were built in the Cold War era and have not aged well.
“I was horrified, absolutely horrified,” said Jeannette Cook, who served on a facility planning task force that visited the schools and recommended the bond, according to the FWR.
“We need to provide our staff with a quality place to work and provide a great education for our kids,” Cook added.
Addressing the crowd at a facility planning task force meeting in June, Steve Farco, a district committee member and a Bedford council member, said, “We don’t want to continue to let us deteriorate. … Consider the possibilities of what we could do with state-of-the-art schools.”
Despite its deteriorating facilities, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD’s accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency for the 2021-2022 school year showed that 97.7% of its seniors graduated on time. For comparison, in Dallas ISD, only 81.1% of the Class of 2022 graduated in four years.
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD has outlined a plan that would see Trinity’s 11 buildings being replaced in phases and a new high school being built near L.D. Bell.
Moreover, Bell Manor Elementary would get a new campus, while its current facilities would be refurbished to accommodate KEYS High School.
Junior high school campuses were already targeted for upgrades in a $199 million bond passed in 2018.
In all, two different propositions will be put to vote between October 23 and November 3.
- Proposition A – $979.3 million for seven new or upgraded high school and elementary schools.
- Proposition B – $18 million for upgrading technology with interactive digital display boards and portable devices for students.
If passed, the bond would bump up the district’s tax rate by 5 cents in 2024, 7 cents in 2025, and 1 cent in 2027. It is currently 92.11 cents per $100 of valuation and is expected to increase to $1.0587 by 2027.