— By SALLY SEXTON
BROCK — For the second year in a row, Brock ISD trustees are asking the public to vote yes to a bond regarding athletics facilities.
Brock board members called for one proposition to be on the May 11 ballot, to accommodate football, track, P.E., band and cross country programs, for a total of $3.495 million.
Early voting begins April 29.
“[This proposition] would include a field house with dressing rooms, weight room, coaches’ office, storage, fencing, concession/restroom facilities and lights and a football field with turf surface that would serve for practice and games for both high school and junior high,” Brock ISD superintendent Richard Tedder said. “A field house for baseball and softball at the newly constructed fields would complete those facilities. This proposition also covers fees, construction costs, etc.
“If all these projects are completed, the remaining funds, if any, may be used on other capital improvements in the district.”
Brock’s current football team operates on the existing football field at the junior high campus. The field was built about four years ago by the Pee Wee Football Association.
Since its acceptance in 2011, the Brock football program, which began at the junior high level, has been funded solely by donations. In April 2011, trustees received a $157,000 check from donors to start up the seventh and eighth grade sport.
More than 40 players participated in the first year of the junior high program, with 112 players in grades 7-11 last year. About 130 players are expected to play at all levels next year, including the first year of varsity football with students from grades 9-12.
The district said that the number of athletes involved in other sports has also increased, from less than 60 track athletes two years ago to 160 participants this year.
“The same increase is also being seen in our high school band program, where numbers are dramatically rising each year,” Tedder said. “We have also seen that as participation in all activities increases, disciplinary issues decrease, academics improve and attendance increases.
“When students are involved in school activities, their sponsors or coaches demand that they are passing their courses and meeting the expectations of state and local policies.”
2011’s voting results saw residents vote down a $5 million request for new football, baseball and softball facilities as well as a demand for roofing and parking lot repairs, 606 to 477.
If approved, this year’s proposal would mean that taxpayers would see an increase of approximately $114, or $9.50 per month, per $100,000 home.
“Only 2.4 cents of our I&S tax increase is due to the bond issue. The rest of the increase results from our district having to pass two TREs to fund maintenance and operation after the state funding cuts of the last legislative session. To hold down the cost to taxpayers over the last two years of state funding cuts, pennies were moved from the I&S side to the M&O tax rate, and we were able to do this because of increases in district property values from new businesses and houses,” Tedder said. “As property values increase, the tax rates can be reduced, which is what has happened in the past. The new tax rate will be about 12 cents lower than the rate of 2006.”