Brenham ISD officials hope to rebuild junior high school with proposed multi-million dollar bond
BRENHAM, Texas (KBTX) - Leaks, mold, asbestos and electrical issues have become common at Brenham Junior High School. The building is almost 60 years old and was originally built to be a bomb shelter during the Cold War.
“Our ventilation systems are old, so the air that’s blowing out I’ll see in my classroom,” teacher Jenny Schaer said. “I’ll get black dust and things like that on my desk just because of the air system being so old.”
There are also major structural issues because water keeps leaking into the building, according to Schaer. She said part of their main building is underground. In addition, the teacher noted the school’s cinder block walls make it hard to move wiring in the building, which impacts the Wi-Fi.
“The state of Texas is going to require us to take all of our STAR tests online in the next year and so we need the Wi-Fi to be able to handle that,” Schaer said.
Now, Brenham ISD wants to rebuild the junior high school. The district proposed a $153,980,000 bond and $118,253,733 will be used to build the school. Brenham ISD superintendent Tylor Chaplin said things can no longer be patched up. It would be cheaper to rebuild than renovate under the current conditions, according to Chaplin.
“The plumbing all underneath the lower level is aging out just because the pipe material they used back in the 1960s when they built the structure, so all that is aging out and it’s gonna cause more problems in the future,” Chaplin said.
If passed, the bond will increase the tax rate, but the district believes school improvements can’t wait.
“We struggle with things every single day so thinking we may not get out of this building is really disheartening and concerning for our teachers,” Schaer said.
Early voting for the bond ends May 3, and election day is May 7.
For more information on the bond and election information, click here.
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