By LIBBY CLUETT
Mineral Wells ISD trustees unanimously approved an order calling for a bond election Tuesday, which will ask voters for $25 million to replace Lamar Elementary, the high school track and improve security at all campuses.
Superintendent Gail Haterius explained the bond election comes as a result of a facilities study, conducted by a 28-member group, which met seven times.
The committee was made up of a wide cross-section of the community. Haterius told trustees, “They were very interested and very dedicated” to their roles. The community group included current and retired school employees, as well as representatives from businesses – the hospital and banking, legal, and insurance sectors. They toured each MWISD building – school campuses, the District Services Center, technology building, bus barn and the alternative education center.
“I feel like we got a lot of eyes on the project,” Haterius said at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We also had our architects do a facility study, too,” she added of Fort Worth based VLK Architects Inc. “We put both those together and came up with the bond proposal – what we think it will cost – and the first step to get that going is an order calling for a bond election.”
The committee’s and architects’ primary recommendation was to entirely replace the aging Lamar Elementary building, but also advised the district:
• Improve security, giving each campus a singular, main entrance and update and expand cameras.
• Replace the Mineral Wells High School track, noting that patching would not solve the track’s foundation problems. Haterius said this could cost $850,000, but noted the district has already spent district funds on geotechnical engineering.
• Renovate the 50-year-old Mineral Wells Junior High School building, but keep the costs as low as possible. The committee concluded a new building would be required in the future.