Orangefield ISD outlines call for bond election to fund $42.9M upgrade

Published 8:20 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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ORANGEFIELD — The Orangefield Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved calling a bond election Nov. 7 in the amount of $42.9 million.


The bond program, district officials said, addresses safety and security upgrades, renovations and additions, and upgrades to aging facilities.


The focus of the bond is centered around classroom additions to provide instructional space for students and to accommodate enrollment growth in the district.


“The Orangefield ISD Board of Trustees is very pleased to provide our community with the opportunity to consider a bond for facility improvements in our district,” board president s Laura Clark said. “Our plan will focus on safety by moving all students out of portable buildings, capacity by adding classrooms at all campuses, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that better prepare our students for the future.”


Facility improvements include a new cafeteria at Orangefield Elementary School with a stage for events and presentations.


The elementary campus renovation includes classroom additions to alleviate overcrowding and to accommodate future student enrollment growth.


Renovations at Orangefield Junior High School include classroom additions.


Orangefield High School additions include a new cafeteria, library and classrooms.


In addition, the school would see expansion of its CTE spaces.


One of the primary safety and security improvements will be the addition of indoor pathways to reduce the number of access points to the school, and to improve the campus lock-down capabilities.


“We want to thank our district facility steering committee for taking time to study a long-range master plan that addresses growth, safety and security, and aging facilities and for providing recommendations to the Orangefield ISD Board of Trustees,” the District announced in a statement.


The bond is expected to increase the debt service tax rate by approximately 35 cents.


Even with the passing of the bond, due to recent tax relief legislation, the total taxes paid by the average homeowner are estimated to decrease $40 per month, the District announced.


Homeowners 65 and older are eligible for a homestead exemption “tax-freeze” and they would see no tax increase as a result of the bond.


Early voting runs from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3.