Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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April 26, 2014

Community faces crossroads

Athens — The voters will soon have their say on a bond package for the Cross Roads Independent School District.

Early voting begins on Monday and runs through May 6, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cross Roads Administration Office. Election day is May 10.

The proposition on the ballot is whether the board of trustees will be authorized to issue the bonds in the principal amount of $4,500,000.

The biggest expense would allow the district to replace its 35-year-old gymnasium with a new gym/student center, almost doubling the seating capacity.

Superintendent Leland Hand said after a few months at the school, he identified some areas where the district could use improvement.

Seating for large school activities was a definite need.

“It will allow us  to have our own graduation,” Hand said. “We had Veteran’s Day programs, we’ve had Christmas programs where we couldn’t get everyone in the facility.”  

Another meeting on the bond issue is set for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the CISD auditorium. Hand said although there have been previous meetings where the public could discuss the issues, some might have missed the chance because of their hectic, spring schedules.

“I don’t really know the pulse of the community,” Hand said. “We’ve had a lot of excitement, but you never know.”

Hand thinks the timing is right for the bond proposal, while interest rates are still low.

“I think, it’s pretty well understood that the interest rates are going to go up and I think the community understands if we had done it last year or two years ago, we may have been able to get an even lower rate, but it’s a good time to do it.” Hand said.  

Hand is happy to be with the CISD and hopes the voters approve the bond package to make the district better for the students who’ll be attending in the years to come.

“My family, we’re truly enjoying it here,” Hand said. “There are a lot of good people here. There are a lot of people who aspire for our kids to be really good in academics and other things.”

If the Bond Issue passes, the projected tax increase would be an average of no more than $4.87 monthly. The average market value of a home in the district is $73,417.

In November 2012, Cross Roads voters refused a $6 million proposal for a new gym and agricultural building.

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