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April 14, 2013

BOND ELECTION: Peaster ISD wants to add wing for fifth, sixth graders

By SALLY SEXTON

PEASTER — The student population for the Peaster Independent School District has steadily grown over the years, prompting the board of trustees to call for a bond proposition, asking voters to approve the spending of $3 million, to go toward a new intermediate wing for fifth and sixth graders.

“We’re at full capacity, and the main reason we’re doing this now is that we’ve just run out of space,” Peaster superintendent Matt Adams said.

Voters will decide the question in a May 11 election. Early voting begins April 29.

Peaster currently has about 100 fifth graders and 85-90 sixth graders. Adams added that the district has received 40 new students just in the last year. If the bond is passed, grades seven and eight will become the junior high while grades five and six will be the intermediate. Currently, Peaster Middle School houses grades six through eight.

If approved, the bond also could have little to no impact on taxpayers in the next 10 years if property values continue to increase as they have, Adams said.

“We’re in a unique situation because we have [about $1.2 million] in our Interest and Sinking fund balance that will be used to make payments on this bond,” he said, “and if we see our property values increase like they have the last decade, it won’t ever do anything to the tax rate.

“This is just a matter of asking the community’s permission to use these funds for this purpose.”

Peaster Middle School was built in 1986 as a high school campus, and has had a few additions to it over the years.

Adams said the rest of the $3 million would be used to do some remodeling at the elementary campus, which was erected in 1998, including new carpet and flooring, as well as upgrading technology and adding security enhancements to all three campuses to secure entrance and exit points.

The district’s last bond election came in November of 2008. Voters said no to a $12 million request for a new intermediate campus to serve fifth and sixth graders.

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