Victoria school district discusses bond at chamber luncheon

Gabriella Canales By Gabriella Canales

Sept. 13, 2017 at 10:15 p.m.
Updated Sept. 13, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.

A rendering of proposed Stroman Middle School.

A rendering of proposed Stroman Middle School.   contributed photo for The Victoria Advocate

About 95 percent of businesses in Victoria have reopened after Hurricane Harvey, said Randy Vivian, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

"That's an amazing statistic," Vivian said. "History has shown you lose a significant portion of businesses."

More than 130 representatives from the business community attended the chamber's September luncheon Wednesday at the University of Houston-Victoria.

Victoria Superintendent Robert Jaklich talked about the state of the school district.

The $141.2 million bond proposal was approved Aug. 17 by the school board members.

The proposal would increase the tax rate by 7.4 cents from about $1.27 to $1.34 for every $100 of assessed property valuation.

Thirty projects are included in the bond proposal, including replacing four schools, renovating 17 others and establishing a multiactivity complex.

Of the total amount, $99.1 million would be spent directly on schools and $42.1 million would be spent on VISD projects that also benefit the community.

Voters will decide on the bond Nov. 7.

Improvement and updates specific to each campus that are addressed in the bond did not change because of the hurricane damage, Jaklich said.

To finish repairs from the hurricane, district officials are focusing on elementary school libraries and pre-K classrooms, he said.

Any monetary donations to the district will go directly to help with books and supplies.

District officials also began community presentations about the bond Wednesday.

The sessions allow for improved communication between district officials and the community, he said.

Officials will be able to address concerns and questions in the open forum format, Jaklich said.

Questions gathered at the sessions will be shared with the public, he said. Vivian encouraged continued discussion about the bond.

"We have aging infrastructure that is going to be repaired now or later when it's going to get more expensive," he said.


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