Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 13, 2014

Cross Roads ISD voters approve $4M event center

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Cross Roads Independent School District voters gave their OK for the district to construct a new gymnasium student events center, replacing a 35-year-old facility.

The count was 198 to 147 in favor of funding the major addition to the district of about 600 students. The $4.5-million bond package includes funds to construct a 29,000-square-foot gym that school officials said was needed to provide more space for school and community events.

 The district will impose a tax increase of $.10 per $100 valuation to pay for the bonds.

“The exciting thing is that people understood the importance of helping meet the students needs,” Superintendent Leland Hand said. “We have already addressed a lot of academic needs this year, and we are really trying to raise the standards of academics, as well as the extra-curricular. This is the first step, and it’s real exciting.”

At a recent community meeting, representatives of Boone and Boone Construction displayed pictures of areas of wear in the current facilities, and shots of overflow crowds at recent school events.

In the pictures, all of the exits were covered with people, and students were sitting on the floor, while guests sat in portable chairs.

“We’ll be canvassing the votes on Thursday, when we have our next board meeting,” Hand said. “After we verify that everything is accurate, we’ll then be leaning on our architect for drawings and plans.”

Hand said since the district is already involved in construction projects, he hopes to get work started on the gym before the crews and equipments immobilize.

“If we avoid that, it will also help us avoid expenses, by going straight into the construction of the Cross Roads Student Events Center,” Hand said.

The projected completion time for the project is mid-2015, Hand said.

The new building will be suitable for graduation ceremonies, large community events, such as a recent Veterans’ Day observance that drew a spill-over crowd, pep rallies, assemblies and sporting events.