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    The front of the Graford ISD school campus which was renovated with money from a 2013 bond. GISD is seeking a $49.6 million bond to build a new campus just west of the current campus. (Sun photo by Nathan Lawson)

LCS: Graford ISD seeks $49.6 million bond for new school campus

Graford ISD is proposing a $49.6 million bond during the Nov. 5 Constitutional Amendment Election to construct a new campus.

GISD Superintendent Dennis Holt said the oldest portion of the school, the current cafeteria, was built in 1939 as a gymnasium. He said the campus has been slowly built around the cafeteria with portions from the 1950s, 1970s, 2000 and 2013.

“It finally came down to the consensus of the board that they just didn’t really want to be adding on,” Holt said. “Because then it is almost like we are circling the wagons around the oldest building. We are just adding on and adding on, but we still have the issues of the electrical and the plumbing in the older parts of the building.”

He added while the district has been experiencing other issues which stemmed from the aging infrastructure, it is not the only reason for the need for a new campus.

“We want to establish and now expand on fine arts and music,” Holt said. “We just started, a few years ago, with a dedicated teacher to fine arts and music. We want to strengthen and continue our career and technology programs, the FCCLA, the homemaking, the welding, the shop teachers, the ag teachers. We are trying to maintain and continue to support those offerings.”

Some other issues which Holt said needed to be addressed included getting classroom to state recommended 800 square feet, with some of the older classrooms being as small as 600 feet.

“We want to make sure the classrooms will have current technology, current safety features, energy efficient systems, all of them will be indoors,” Holt said. “Right now, we have a few  portable buildings that are being used.”

He said they also wanted a new auditorium, a new competition and elementary gym as well as livestock facilities.

The superintendent said the proposed new school will be 136,000 square feet with a capacity of 550 students and the proposed new campus would be on a 60 acre piece of land west on Division Street  from the current campus and athletic complex.

Graford ISD is currently still paying off two bonds which were previously approved. A 2013 bond that added a baseball and softball field, a track, a renovated kitchen and a new central front office will be paid off in 2033. While a 2000 bond which added on the current elementary school and competition gym will be paid off in 2030.

For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 16 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

GRAHAM OFFICE
620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 549-4364