School Bond to be on Bryan Ballots as District Looks to Realign Grade Levels

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BRYAN - The school board for the Bryan Independent School District has put a bond proposal on the ballot for this coming November.

In a $132 million bond package signed off on by trustees Monday, Bryan voters will have the chance to decide on new structures and updates to a number of facilities, this as the district looks to realign students within schools.

Stephen F. Austin Middle School's building would be replaced with a new structure through the proposed bond. The district notes the new school would likely be on the same property, with the old building being used for administrative functions.

Also, Sul Ross Elementary School would be nearly completely rebuilt, according to the district.

Plus, additional classrooms at existing schools, new technology, roof replacements and heating/ventilation/air conditioning repairs would be paid for by the bond if approved.

Anywhere from 6.5 cents to 8 cents per $100 property value could be tacked on. The range is because the district still has to decide whether to pay down $1 million in debt next month.

Under a proposed plan in conjunction with the bond -- one which got school board support in a resolution in April -- elementary school campuses would be for pre-kindergarten/kindergarten through 4th grade. All 5th and 6th graders would be in a pair of intermediate schools, while 7th and 8th graders would be in a pair of middle schools.

Grades 9 through 12 would remain in the district's two high schools.

"Grouping these students for intensive, grade-specific focus is aimed at addressing the statewide trend of lowered academic performance as students transition during this pivotal phase of life," BISD notes in a statement.

According to a district spokesperson, without the realignment proposal, the bond package would have been more expensive.

Election Day is November 4.