By LIBBY CLUETT
Mineral Wells ISD trustees moved another step toward holding a bond election Tuesday, by approving a timeline, which will give the public opportunities to see the district’s current facilities and its needs.
In mid August, trustees unanimously approved an order calling for a bond election, which will ask voters for a $25 million bond to replace Lamar Elementary, the high school track and improve security at all campuses. The bond election came as a result of a facilities study, conducted by a 28-member group of community leaders, which met seven times in the spring.
Fort Worth based VLK Architects Inc. also conducted a study of MWISD facilities, and, at the August meeting, MWISD Supt. Gail Haterius explained, “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.”
Both the committee’s and VLK’s primary recommendation was to entirely replace the aging Lamar Elementary building. But they also suggested: addressing security at each campus; replacing the Mineral Wells High School track, which has foundation problems; and make renovations to the 50-year-old Mineral Wells Junior High School building, but keep the costs there as low as possible, since a new building will be required in the future.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, Haterius said they will soon have a bond information pamphlet, perhaps available by the end of the week. Additionally, she said the district will be making presentations at all of the campuses and at civic clubs around town and asked trustees for help with those and getting the message out.
“Basically we would like people to be informed and then go and vote their conscience,” Haterius said. “We know that’s a very private matter but we have no qualms with anybody if they find out about it and however they vote. We’re just pleased just that they would educate themselves and vote.”
Trustees approved a timeline that includes two town-hall meetings and several tours to help inform citizens on the MWISD bond proposal. These will be:
• Oct. 1, 6 p.m., a town hall meeting at Lamar Elementary, which includes a tour of the campus. Additional tours of Lamar will take place Thursday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. and Friday, Oct. 4 at 11 p.m.
• Oct. 15, 6 p.m. a town hall meeting at Mineral Wells High School, which also includes a tour of the track at 7 p.m. The district will also have track tours Wednesday, Oct. 16, Thursday, Oct. 17 and Tuesday Oct. 22, all at 7:30 p.m.
Other key dates for the Nov. 5 election, which also includes several Texas Constitutional amendments and a Palo Pinto Hospital District board election, are:
• Oct. 7 – last day to register to vote in the November election.
• Oct. 21-Nov. 1 – Early voting in person.