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Bryan ISD Bond Election

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Bryan's school board believes it has come up with a solution the district's overcrowding problems. But is the price tag too high for some?

It has taken nearly three years, but Bryan's school board members finally have a bond package they believe addresses the district's biggest problems.

"Adding more schools, adding more classrooms, means you won't have as much overcrowding, especially in the secondary level. In the high school, in the middle schools, we've had an immediate problem with overcrowding," said Mike Cargill, BISD Superintendent.

But the solution won't come without a price. The school board is offering two bond propositions. The larger of the two is for nearly $100 million and includes a second high school and fourth middle school along with additions and renovations to other campuses.

So how will this affect residents? Based on property values, the average taxpayer can expect to pay roughly $100 more in taxes a year.

For example, a homeowner with a $75,000 house can expect to pay about $97.50 more a year. Taxes on a $100,000 home would go up $130.

Some say the cost is too high and would rather not see a hike in their taxes.

"Just after briefly learning about it, I feel selfish because my kids are almost through Bryan High, just thinking about increasing my taxes for the long haul," said Nancy Watson, a Bryan resident.

But others say you can't put a price tag on improving the quality of education for children.

"Our city is growing, and our classrooms are growing, which is not necessarily a good thing. So with the bond proposal that is being put forth now, it's going to be better for all the students," said Barbara Henry, a Bryan resident.

The school board will hold public forums to gather citizen input. That's because every time the topic of a second Bryan high school comes up, it generates an enormous amount of discussion and debate.

Now that tangible plans are being made, the board expects even more of the same.

The bond election is expected to be held Feb. 26, 2005.