Information regarding WOCCISD’s Bond Election

Published 5:02 pm Saturday, October 6, 2018

By Dr. Rickie R. Harris

As you know, West Orange – Cove CISD has called a bond election for the Nov. 6 general election. My goal in this article is to inform you of how we reached the decision to call an election.

This process began in early March with the development of a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to conduct a facility study of the buildings. The CAC meetings began with fact finding to determine the existing status of district buildings. From that information, the committee developed recommendations for potential projects to be placed on a community survey to determine favorability if placed on an election ballot. The results from the survey showed favorability for all community survey projects. This led the committee to make a recommendation to our Board of Trustees to call for a bond election.

Overall, the CAC met seven times between March and July as they considered buildings and possible bond projects. Their findings and a recommendation were presented to our School Board in early August. Once the bond was called, the district placed Frequently Asked Questions with corresponding responses on our District’s website.

The bond election is for a total of $25.75 million with a potential .08 tax increase per $100 valuation after the state homestead exemption of $25,000 and a local 20 percent homestead exemption have been deducted from the appraised value of the home. Taxpayers age 65 and older and have filed the appropriate tax exemption will not see an increase in taxes as their taxes have been frozen.

Bond projects include safety and security, infrastructure, classroom support, technology, fine art improvements, a transportation center, an events center, and improvements for our softball, baseball, and football fields.

It includes $1.9 million in district-wide technology updates; and, $2.2 million in classroom furniture updates in kindergarten through grade 12. This includes materials for math and science labs, Early College High School, improvements to our Career and Technology Education programs, and more.

Security is also a major concern included in the bond. WOCCISD strives to ensure that our students are educated in a safe environment. We are seeking $800,000 for security vestibules, door hardware, security cameras, fencing around our Career Center, and other safety updates.

For infrastructure, we are requesting $2.1 million to replace roofs, HVAC controls, improve parking at North Early Learning Center, install chill water pipe insulation at the High School, and to move forward with additional needed maintenance updates.

These are just a few of the areas that we are seeking to address through the bond. Due to space, we cannot provide as much detail as we would like. However, I will continue to share information regarding additional bond projects in my next editorial.

In the meantime, our website includes not only bond FAQ’s, but also responses to bond questions from our community. Additionally, we are currently presenting bond information at various organization meetings.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” Go Mustangs!


Dr. Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD.