Caldwell Bond Election Spurs Increased Early Voting Turnout

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On Saturday, voters in Caldwell will decide whether to pass a $52.7 million bond to build a new middle school and make improvements to other campuses, including Caldwell High School.

An empty field could one day be the home of a brand new Caldwell Middle School. That's if residents approve a bond in this Saturday's election. The proposed $52.7 million bond would not only build a new middle school, but also renovate other campuses.

"They're just like homes. You need to repair them and upgrade them,” said Superintendent Dr. Janet Cummings.

Cummings says the high school is aging and is in need of repair. New classrooms would be added to replace portable classrooms outdoors.

In addition the proposed bond would
-improve heating and cooling systems
-make improvements to athletics facilities
-widen the road in front of the high school campus
-pay off an existing note
-and make upgrades in security technology.

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"In this day and time you have to take a little bit more precaution. We're looking at expanding our camera situation at all campuses,” said Cummings. She also said entrances would be equipped with keycard access.

The Caldwell ISD bond is getting a lot of attention. County records indicate this year’s early voting turnout almost doubled when compared to last year’s school elections early voting numbers.

2011 Early voting turnout: 349 voters
2012 Early voting turnout: 650 voters

“I think it's a pretty controversial issue,” said business owner Marcus Groce. Groce voted early and says many of his friends did too.

"I've heard some for it. I've heard some against it. I think everyone is in favor of improvements. They're just wondering if the timing is right...I do trust those people that were on the committee that proposed the bond issue and I think they made some good judgments and we'll just have to see how the voters choose,” said Groce.

Nearly 10% of all registered voters have already gone to the polls. For the other 90%, they have until Saturday to make up their minds.