Bryan School Bond Passes Easily

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Saturday night, Bryan ISD officials said they were surprised with the high turnout at the polls, with the school bond being the only item on the ballot, and the rainy weather.

What they weren't surprised about was the result.

Overwhelmingly, voters voted for both propositions, which totalled $104 million. Final vote totals show 3-to-1 and 2-to-1 margins of victory respectively.

Officially, 75 percent of voters cast their ballot in favor of the first proposition, and 67 percent approved the second. Of 41,619 registered voters in Bryan, 4,303 came out to the polls.

Initial estimates show an average possible increase of $100-a-year in taxes.

Proposition 1 was the larger of the two at just under $100 million. With its passing, plans will begin for a second high school in Bryan, a fourth middle school, a new building for Bonham Elementary, and upgrades to about a dozen other campuses.

Proposition 2, slated at $5.5 million, will provide for renovations to Viking Stadium, a gymnastics facility and, possibly, a natatorium. That facility would be built at the second high school, but part of the proposition stated the city would have to take up half of the costs. BISD and city officials will begin talks soon, but Superintendent Mike Cargill said he hopes today's overwhelming win sends the message that Bryan residents want it.

"I think this is a victory for the children of Bryan, and really, it shows everybody how much we care about our children here in this school district," Cargill said Saturday night.

"People want their kids in smaller schools," said Maritza Hoffman, who headed up the Bryan Schools Tomorrow group which pushed for the bond's passage. "There's more opportunity for them to achieve academically, but there's more opportunity for them to be able to participate."