Article from Times Record News | Trish Choate
Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt told trustees Thursday that school officials might have final voting results on the $290 million school bond referendum this evening.
“We will share those with you as soon as we get them,” Kuhrt said during a special session Thursday.
School board members approved a contracting method for the construction of projects to be financed by the proposed bond measure during a noon meeting Thursday.
WFISD officials aim to involve local builders in the massive construction projects of two new high schools and athletic facilities.
“Our goal from the beginning on this has been to involve as many local subcontractors as we could,” Kuhrt said.
If the entire bond package wins approval, property taxes will rise an estimated 32 cents per $100 of property valuation. The tax hike would be effective in October 2021.
But preliminary results show voters split on propositions for two new high schools and recreational and athletic facilities to go with them in Tuesday’s referendum on the bond package.
As the vote stands now, the high schools will be built in WFISD without athletic and recreational facilities.
But upwards of 5,000 mail-in ballots are being counted that could change the outcome of the bond referendum.
Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom has said workers are expected to still be processing the mail-in ballots through Friday.
In Tuesday’s election, WFISD voters approved building two new high schools and buying land for them — but rejected construction of the recreational and athletic facilities for the schools, according to preliminary totals including only in-person voting.
The vote on the bond propositions is close, according to preliminary results.
Proposition A got 13,341 or 50.65% for votes and 13,000 or 49.35% against, according to preliminary totals.
Proposition B failed with no votes of 13,693 or 52.18% and yes votes totaling 12,547 or 47.82%, according to preliminary results.
The $290 million bond proposal district was designed to bring two modern high schools to the city, opening in fall 2024 with a host of recreational facilities, according to WFISD officials.
One high school is to be located in southwest Wichita Falls at 6422 Seymour Highway. The other school is proposed in the southeast at Windthorst Road and Henry S. Grace Freeway, a site north of the Career Education Center.