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Passed!

By adriana_acosta
May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.

Two new elementary schools will be located on the existing elementary campus sites and will be built while students inhabit the current facilities and then moved to the new facility upon completion. Non-historic parts of facility will be demolished.

Tidehaven schools will get a facelift thanks to voters in the school district who passed a $50 million bond in Saturday's election.

"We are very excited about the bond passing," said Andrew Seigrist, Tidehaven ISD superintendent.

This has been a three year long process, he said.

Seigrist said the first attempt to pass this bond was in 2009, which was for $30 million.

"We were able to put a bond package that was attractive to the community," he said.

The Tidehaven ISD board of trustees voted unanimously to call a bond election asking voters to consider two propositions at their Feb. 28, 2012 meeting.

Proposition 1 included $30.9 million for construction of a new combined high school and junior high school campus.

Proposition 2 is to build two new elementary schools to replace the Markham and Blessing campuses on their current sites for $19.6 million.

The schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

The schools have exceeded their functional and structural lives, said Seigrist.

Both elementary schools are more than 77 years old, the high school was built in 1949 and the junior high in 1956.

"The cost of repairing and renovating these schools would nearly equal the cost of building new campuses," he said.

Seigrist said they brought in architects and engineers to look at the buildings and see what could be replaced.

Seigrist and other Tidehaven ISD staff including Kathy Boyett, high school principal and Gerry Talley, junior high principal toured Salyards Middle School in Cy-Fair School District.

"It was very exciting to see the possibilities and when we saw what new facilities could offer our students, the age of our buildings became even more apparent," he sais.

SHW Architect Group, the same architects that will be designing the project for the school were the same architects who designed Salyards MS, he said.

"That way we could see real-life examples of the quality of their work and what they could offer the students and parents of Tidehaven ISD," he said.

The new elementary schools will be built next to the current elementary sites, he said.

"The new schools will be built while students are attending the old schools. Once the new elementary schools are completed, the out buildings will be demolished," he added.

Seigrist said there are no current plans made for the current historic portions of the elementary schools. The school board will consider what to do with the old, historic portions.

The old junior high facilities will be demolished with the exception of the newest portion, which includes the band hall.

Once the new high school and junior high school are completed, the old portions of the current high school will be demolished.

Seigrist said the two gymnasiums and the new library wing will remain. The library wing, built in 1993, will be renovated into the new central administration area rather than building a new administration building.

Seigrist said approximately 85 percent of the bond will be funded by oil, gas, railroads and industry.

The top 48 tax paying entities will pay 85 percent of the bond. Homestead owners will pay approximately 4.9 percent of the bond according to the current assessed values this year.

School board members are both excited for the future of Tideheaven ISD students.

"We are excited for the opportunity the kids are going to have now," said Richard Byer, school board member.

Vic Collins said the children he has spoken to are excited about having new schools.

"We are going into the 21st century," said Collins.

"This is a true testament of this community coming together and providing this opportunity for our kids and I am really excited about that," said school board member, Stephen John Crow.

The next stage in the process include having the architect firm, SHW Group, complete the design of the new buildings and facilities.

Those designs will take several months to complete, said Seigrist.

Once the designs are complete, the designs will go out for bid and once the school board accepts the bids, the construction process will begin.

"I am very excited and humbled all at the same time. I'm glad to see the confidence the voters of Tidehaven ISD have put into the bond election process by approving this bond to rebuild all of our school buildings, for all students, grades PreK - 12. I am excited about the possibilities and the potential benefits for our students. We worked very hard to design bond proposals that the majority of the voters would support and they did. While I am thrilled at the results I am also humbled by the strong show of support for the bond. This is a significant vote of trust and we take that responsibility to heart," he said.

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