Greenville voters have another major decision facing them at the polls on May 10. The $72.25 million school bond will shape the way Greenville schools operate for the next several decades.
The needs are clear and significant. Many of the Greenville Independent School District’s facilities are old. The “new” high school was built more than 30 years ago. Beyond significant structural issues, many of the campuses do not even have the capability to be upgraded from a technological standpoint.
Security cannot be a minor concern, either. While we as a community pray that we never have to suffer the horrors of school violence, Greenville ISD must also prepare for the unthinkable. Adding security vestibules to campuses that do not have them and increasing safety throughout the district has to be another priority.
After House Bill 5, it’s clear that the way districts are preparing high school students for life after graduation is changing. A larger focus on vocational training and certifications means that Greenville ISD will have to adapt to this shift, something that the new Career and Technology Center will position the district perfectly for.
Building a new Bowie Elementary School at the same location will certainly be a major headache for both parents and district staff. But GISD needs a new Bowie, and if the community wants it built in the same location, GISD is wise to listen to that community.
Greenville will only grow if families decide to live here. The local school district is one of the most important factors in attracting families to settle down in a city. Greenville ISD will not be able to improve if the district does not have adequate classrooms, technology and security.
It goes without saying that $72.25 million is a lot of money. Or $150 million, which is what the bond will cost voters over the course of its 30 years in principal and interest. While the tax rate increase will only put GISD in the middle of the pack when it comes to local tax rates, a decision like this should not be made lightly.
That being said, we believe that Greenville residents should vote for the bond. There is nothing extravagant in the bond package. All of the items will meet both immediate and long-term needs for the school district, and the education and safety of our children will have a tremendous impact on our future.
This opinion is that of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at email@example.com.