Bond to Potentially Expand TISD

Bond to Potentially Expand TISD

Katie Ann McCarver, Online Editor-in-Chief

On November 7, 2017 the district will hold a district-wide bond vote in regards to expanding the school. Provisions would include a new and improved football stadium, a personal natatorium, and additional facilities on campus. Eligible voters, that is, adults of 18 years or older in the Tomball Independent School District, will make the final decision on the future of this school.

While ninth through twelfth graders are normally considered immature teenagers with little to no understanding of politics, they certainly understand their own environment. And a high school is teenage turf. In the upcoming vote, it is the community’s responsibility to respond to the increasingly cramped space in the school and devise a plan for expansion at all costs.

Firstly, in the cafeteria alone, quarters are so close that many students have been forced to sit on the floor. Administration is allowing students to walk outside and through the bus ramp to have easier access, a privilege they wouldn’t extend without absolute necessity. The school cafeteria was built on the premise of holding a maximum of 700 students–it currently hosts an average of 750 daily. Unfortunately, the hallways are not much better. The main hallways has become so tight that the administration has actually felt obligated to request that more people utilize back hallways over the intercom. In the last few years, each freshman class has inevitably grown. The school was voted into existence into a bond vote itself, when parents became concerned about the same issue at Tomball High School. A bond vote is required before the school can take action and make room for incoming students. While the majority of students will be unable to vote themselves, they can still try and convey their uncomfortably close circumstances.

A common complaint from adults in the community is how their taxes will be affected should the bond be voted into approval. However, this is a Needs Based Bond; projects include the most immediate needs of Tomball ISD and future planning, while attempting to minimize the impact on taxpayers. In all honesty, the $275 million bond referendum will require a minimal amount of payment from the city of Tomball, but only a minority of facilities that cannot be covered by the annual District budget. This bond will not increase tax rate, a huge success should it be approved. In the unlikely cause this potentially caused a–miniscule–increase in local taxes, it wouldn’t be without reimbursement. A school bond repays borrowed money with a low-cost interest rate over time.

Finally, aside from expanded facilities on campus such as the aforementioned cafeteria issue, the district, not just the school is in need of expansion. The greater Houston area is expanding rapidly, and TISD is ever-growing. Real estate is booming and every year new students move into the district. However, there is still only one feeder junior high to the school. While many people may label referendums such as a football stadium, natatorium, et cetera as recreational, a new middle school is undeniably needed. The crowded, one-storied Willow Wood Junior High seems to get smaller the bigger its population becomes. Seventh and eighth graders will need to be divided into different schools if they’re to keep their sanity.

Overall, the vote is a necessary precaution should students begin to suffocate in the quaint halls of Tomball Memorial. The student body will inevitably grow year by year, and without the approval of the bond it will face a devastating blow in terms of keeping students in line. The fact of the matter is, the bond won’t raise taxes and will benefit education in the Tomball Independent School District greater.