DUBLIN (September 7, 2016) – Dublin ISD voters will once again be presented a bond for the school district. And despite the resounding ‘NO’ voted in the May bond election, district officials will once again include many of the same improvements from the last bond, most notably the new football stadium that cause much controversy in the last bond. However, there are a some changes in the nearly $11M bond that officials believe will appease some of the concerns from the last election.
With a grand total of $10.8 million, the new bond will cost taxpayers $4.34 per month for the average taxable home value at $37,216 (the average appraised value of a home in the school district), according to district officials.
The largest renovation will occur at Memorial Field. The stadium lights and home bleachers will be removed from the football field, and Memorial Field will become Memorial Park. The visitor bleachers, field, restrooms and concession stand will remain to be used for soccer (which is not played by Dublin ISD) or other sports. Playground equipment and picnic areas will be added to the area around the new park.
“We [The school district] will maintain it like we do the football field,” Dublin ISD superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider said.
At the new stadium, which will be located at the secondary school campus, new home bleachers, concessions and restrooms will be built. The former home bleachers from the old stadium will become the new visitor bleachers, and the stadium lights will be reused.
The new stadium will also have an eight-lane track around the turf field, which will allow Dublin ISD to host track meets, officials said.
“If we build an eight-lane track down [where the current stadium is], which is not unfeasible, we’d lose our parking,” Schneider said. “There’s a safety issue when people are parking all over and not in a well-lit spot.”
The bond will also allow Dublin ISD to build four to eight new tennis courts at the secondary school, which officials said would give the district the ability to host tennis tournaments, which have been hosted at other locations for the past several years. Dublin ISD currently uses two tennis courts at the Dublin City Park.
“The safety issue we have in getting kids from the secondary school [to the stadium or park] for track practice, tennis practice or band practice. We are putting kids on a bus, and you go on two highways,” Schneider said. “Anytime you put a bus on the highway you run a risk.”
Another construction project in the bond will be the construction of a multi-purpose facility at the Elementary School. Currently, about 700 kids share the gym at the Intermediate campus, which the elementary students must walk to. The multi-purpose facility would be used for activities such as P.E. and assemblies.
“[Building] a multi-purpose facility that would be connected to the building would keep those kids from going outside to get to gym class,” Schneider said. “That’s a safety issue. It would also give a separate entrance for parents to come in for activities and not go through the classroom area.”
The bond will also allow the elementary campus to have a security vestibule built that would have windows to the outside and prevent anyone from having access to the classroom area without approval.
“The building that we have is kind of old,” Schneider said. “There are no windows to the outside. So any intruder has a significant way into the building before anyone can even see them. This would change things. With a security vestibule, people would be funneled into the office before they can get to the classroom area.”
Other security updates include integrating the intercom systems so campuses can communicate throughout the district and adding a “modernized camera system.” The camera system will allow communication with the central administration and law enforcement.
“[Law enforcement] will be able to plug in at any incident and they will be able to pull up a camera anywhere in the district and see what is going on,” Schneider said. “It’s safer for them. If there is a shooter on campus and they can pull up a camera, they can get there quicker.”
Additionally, the district will renovate the current band hall to add more storage area.
The new bond will be voted on by residents living within the school district during the November election.