By LIBBY CLUETT
Mineral Wells ISD trustees are asking voters to approve a $25-million bond to improve school facilities in Tuesday’s uniform election. The outcome will largely determine the fate of Lamar Elementary School, which was built in 1955.
The bulk of the bond funds would go toward replacing the outdated elementary school building, but they would also address campus security – including building modifications as needed at other campuses – and would rebuild the Mineral Wells High School track.
If voters approve the proposed MWISD bond, the new elementary campus will be located on the same property as Lamar and will be designed to serve approximately 850 students. Lamar currently has 747 students and 11 portable buildings that have been around for numerous years.
Combined with the expertise of VLK Architects, the district used a volunteer Facilities Study Committee, made up of local business leaders, parents and former teachers, to help shape this bond package. In early 2013, the FSC toured each campus and met with VLK Architects to help identify the district’s greatest needs, long before trustees called for a bond election.
Kay Brown, a retired teacher, and Richard Ball, a business owner and president of the Industrial Foundation, were part of that committee and shared some thoughts with the Index.
“If someone hadn’t done it for us, we wouldn’t have had a school to go to,” Brown said. “Someone did it for us, so we are doing it for the future kids of Mineral Wells.”
But she said there’s more to the issue, which is why citizens need to go vote.
“We’ve got to address present-day issues. Lamar is an example of the way we used to build schools. Today, that is not going to meet our needs for a present-day campus,” said Brown. “There are many needs Lamar has now that we can’t address without a new campus.”