Houstonians OK bond packages for HISD, city of Houston, HCC

November 7, 2012 3:24:38 PM PST
It's a new day for the state's largest school district. Big plans are in the works now that voters have approved HISD's a nearly $2 billion bond that will transform campuses across the district.

The school district is already working on prioritizing needs to determine which schools will be the first to benefit from the bond. We expect by next summer, the first shovel is scheduled to hit the ground. But Wednesday also was a day of celebration for bond supporters.

A monthly principals meeting in HISD turned into a victory rally for Superintendent Terry Grier on Wednesday.

"To have the largest school bond in the history of Texas pass by 69 percent of the vote, it's phenomenal," Grier said.

HISD's $1.89 billion bond package passed overwhelmingly, even though it comes with a modest tax increase for homeowners. HISD says it's simple. Houstonians support good public schools and it was clear that many buildings in HISD were falling apart.

"Our schools have served great purposes, but they're simply not set up for the things that we need to be doing in the classroom today," Lamar High School principal James McSwain said.

McSwain would like his high school to be on top of the rebuild list?,but for now, the district is still working on a list of the schools that will get the first facelift. The first are scheduled to begin by next summer.

But the school district isn't alone in their excitement.

"Election's over, and all my stuff passed handily," Mayor Annise Parker said..

Parker was all smiles on Wednesday as she reminded everyone that the city's $425 million bond package also passed.

From the school district, to the city, to the community college, voters approved everything, and Parker says that proves a point.

"Houstonians understand that we don't have another choice. We must invest in ourselves," Parker said.

Even after the school district drafts its timeline, trustees still have to approve the plan before work can begin by next summer.


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