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YISD discusses bond project updates

Wednesday evening the Ysleta Independent School District held a school board meeting. Board members discussed several topics including a update on bond projects. The bond was initiated in 2014 with a plan to address aging and under-capacity school buildings. In 2015, the $430 million bond was passed by 60 percent of the voters. After the passing of the bond, officials told ABC-7 the bond would pay $8.3 million toward school security, $10 million to upgrade technology, $155.7 million to build new campuses for Bel Air Middle, Del Valle Middle/Mission Valley Elementary, and Thomas Manor Elementary, $127.2 million to renovate schools, including $93 million for Eastwood High, $10.2 million to improve fine arts facilities, $55.1 million to improve athletic facilities, and $63.7 million to replace roofs, plumbing and A/C. District Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre tells ABC-7 the district has been very aggressive and very ambitious to complete the bond projects. “Time is money and the longer you delay or suspend projects the more likely you are to be a victim to escalation or inflation. Where a project in year one can cost you $53 million, if you don’t start that project until year two you’ve increased the cost of the project by four or five million dollars,” De La Torre said. De La Torre tells ABC-7 the district has sold the bonds totaling $430 million and so far it has dedicated about $300 million to bond projects. De La Torre said the district has completed the athletic enhancement bond package. “Stadiums received the artificial surface. We put lighting on all baseball fields, softball fields and tennis courts. We introduced new scoreboards, public announcement systems, storage, perimeter fencing, batting cages all of that is complete,” De La Torre said. De La Torre also said security systems have been installed in all schools. “We are about to finish Eastwood Knolls cafeteria, kitchen and gymnasium, Tierra Del Sol’s cafeteria and kitchen, Desertair’s cafeteria and kitchen,” De La Torre said. De La Torre tells ABC-7 all projects are up to date with the exception of a few that because of weather, got off schedule and only by a few days. De La Torre also confirms one of the biggest projects, The rebuilding of Eastwood High School is also on track and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. “Within the next month you’ll see a tower crane that you are accustomed to seeing in large cities that build skyscrapers. They are going to use that tower crane to move around quickly and nimbly to be able to accelerate the timeline on this project,” De La Torre said.

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