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FISD school bond nearing

February 18, 2013

FORSAN — School officials here have just about everything set for a bond election except for a final price tag.
Forsan independent School District officials are expected to call for a May bond election when they hold a special meeting Monday, Feb. 25, and will be likely be very busy during the next few days finalizing the proposal.
There are items that will definitely be in the bond package, such as a new campus to replace Elbow Elementary, electrical and plumbing upgrades at the junior high/high school and expansion work at the bus barn. But other items, like road work around the new campus and security upgrades at the secondary building, may make the final cut as well.
Keeping all that in mind, it is understandable that FISD Superintendent Randy Johnson has been hesitant to give a final price tag to the proposal. When pressed, he said the price of construction and renovation could be anywhere between $20 million and $25 million.
“I don't know how many hours we've spent going through these figures,” Johnson said. “We've had three different construction options presented to us, and our trustees are working their way through those options to determine what needs to be on there or not on there.”
The items which will definitely be on the bond proposal are:
• A new elementary campus which will be constructed adjacent to the junior high/high school building in Forsan.
• Renovation of restroom areas at the junior high/high school.
• Expansion of the bus barn to handle vehicles currently at Elbow Elementary.
But Johnson said officials also are looking very closely at other items, including:
• Road work at the new campus to help ease the traffic flow in the area.
• Communication system upgrades.
• More extensive renovation at the junior high/high school aimed at making the building more secure for students and staff.
• New junior high school science labs.
Johnson said trustees have had to do a balancing act of sorts, choosing between what the district needs and what it would like to have but could perhaps do without for now.
“It's a tremendously difficult decision, deciding what items are 'have-to,' what is something we're going to need in a few years and what is basically a wish-list item,” Johnson said.

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