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SISD voters approve $448.5 million bond

The Socorro Independent School District asked voters to approve a $448.5 million dollar on election day and they did.

Early voting results showed 61 percent of the voters voted in favor of the bond.

Among the largest proposed projects for the district is the $135 million reconstruction of Socorro High School.

SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza told ABC-7 the campus is not only due for an upgrade, but it’s also necessary for the students.

“This is a flagship school. It’s where our first high school took place. All the schools in the Socorro area don’t have the facilities that the north part of the district do. So it’s time to treat our students and our families … for them to have the same type of treatment that the students north of the freeway are receiving,” Espinoza told ABC-7 Tuesday afternoon.

The next costliest proposal is the construction of three new SISD schools at a cost of more than $105.8 million. The money would pay for an elementary school in the Pebble Hills area, and an elementary school and middle school in the Eastlake area. Both neighborhoods in Far East El Paso are experiencing significant growth.

“We have over 1,300 students that are supposed to go to their neighborhood schools, but because they’re at capacity, we have to overflow, again 1,300 students to other schools,” said Espinoza.

The student activity complex off Loop 375 in Far East El Paso is shared among several SISD high schools. Another proposed project is to build a second student activity complex, which would seat between 6,000 to 8,000 spectators at a cost of $67.5 million.

“The SAC was built in 1992 when Socorro ISD had two high schools: Socorro High School and Montwood High School,” said Espinoza.

Football teams not only battle on the field, but also when it comes to scheduling their games.

Montwood High School athletic director and football coach Ariel Famaligi said that forces games to start earlier, putting pressure on students and parents.

“Creating that venue for the elimination of 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday games, that’s the benefit,” said Famaligi.

Aside from scorching temperatures, all students involved in football games, such as the band, cheerleaders and student council representatives have to be pulled out of class early, missing instruction time.

The $67.5 million dollar price tag for the complex is just one of the improvements listed in the $448.5 million dollar bond, which will be paid for by you, the taxpayer.

“For the last six years, the Socorro ISD tax rate has not increased. It’s stayed the same at $1.27.”

The bond would add $8.83 a month on a house with a taxable value of $100,000, adding up to about $106 a year. Senior citizens, aged 65 and older, will not have to pay an increased value.

Herman Ray is the father to a special needs child in the district, and voted early on the bond.

“I just know that overall, what they’re going to do is going to be good,” said Rays.

Espinoza said plans to revamp the Socorro High School would begin immediately. The project would be completed in stages to allow students to continue attending the school, but they will need to use portable classrooms for additional space.

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