BISD Facility Committee remains hard at work

Bonham – Community members in Bonham are continuing their assessment of district facility needs, now pushing for multiple bond proposals as a way to sway voter approval.

The committee of approximately 25 citizens last week also discussed agriculture needs such as a new Ag Barn and whether that could increase voter support. Residents also stressed the need to start informing others about the bond package earlier, and to provide more pictures/video of current facilities that need renovation.

The facility assessment, if approved by BISD board members, would let the voters decide what is needed through three options: An I.W. Evans renovation, a Bonham High School renovation and addition of multi-purpose learning center. The proposals would be presented as a Yes/No for each, rather than an either/or.

Citizens will continue facility assessment when they meet this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the Bailey Inglish board meeting room.

A majority of residents voted against a nearly $25 million bond in May which would have gone toward improvements at BHS and I.W. Evans. Residents also rejected an even larger proposal in 2009.

Additional items addressed during last week's meeting are as follows:

Original plan was good; needs a few modifications:
- Reword Administration Offices to specifically indicate nurse, counselor, secretary, PEIMS coordinator, principal, assistant principal, etc.
- Emphasize the importance of moving these offices to the front of the renovated buildings for student safety purposes.
- Change the additional gym at BHS to a multi-purpose learning center that includes a practice floor and a stage for fine arts.
- An additional practice facility would open up the high school master schedule and increase available teaching periods. This additional (facility) space could eliminate a teaching position, thus saving money each year.
- This facility has the potential to generate revenue for the community.
- Remove the two classrooms and one computer lab in the front of the building and the lecture hall from the BHS proposal.
- Split the Administration area' of the I.W. Evans plan into the various offices and a band hall.

Agricultural needs:
- Ag Barn needs to be added to the BHS proposal
- There is a large voting population that could increase support for the bond if agriculture needs were included in the proposal(s).

Need to build a package the whole community supports:
- Focus on the positive effects for students
- Give the community something different; not the same proposal as last time

Look long term when planning the package; not just at the cheapest version:
- Don't want to be addressing the same issues in 15 years

Address the past negative feelings head on:
- Remind voters that those decision makers are no longer on the Board or in decision making positions.
- Encourage voters to not punish the children for past mistakes and current mistrust.

Positive phrasing:
- Rewording of Administration Offices' to provide clarity of the use of the space and to emphasize student safety.
- Rewording of gym'

Restructure grade levels now and then in 2-3 years ask for another bond to address BHS needs:
- Bailey Inglish = PK-K
- Finley-Oates = Grades 1-4
- I.W. Evans = Grades 5-6
- Ask for $6 million to restructure/renovate now