|Posted on 2/7/2019 7:06:00 AM.|
(Seguin) -- Discussion is officially underway about possibly adding two new items to the list of proposed bond projects for the Seguin ISD. The items being considered include the construction of a brand new baseball field at Seguin High School and the renovation of the school's existing softball field.
Sean Hoffmann, Seguin ISD executive director of communications, says trustees on Tuesday brought up the possibility of adding these two items while going over the initial list of projects that were presented to them last month by the district's facilities committee.
During the special workshop, trustees were tasked with further discussing the proposed bond election items totaling $64.7 million and fine tuning exactly what they wanted to include on the ballot should they move forward with a May 4 bond election.
Hoffmann says adding any new projects would obviously mean an increase to the overall bond package -- a decision that the school board will ultimately have to make.
"In order to build a new baseball field on the Seguin High School campus, do some renovations to the current softball field, we are looking at between $4.5 to $5 million which would include shared concessions, restroom -- again, new baseball field, lights and doing some renovation to the softball press box and bleachers," said Hoffmann.
As previously reported, funding $64.7 million in bond projects would mean an additional five cents to the tax rate. This plan, however, would tack on an additional half cent if approved by voters.
"We believe it would be feasible through about a half cent addition to the $100 valuation tax rate so we will come back on Thursday evening and have some revised wording along with some revised dollar figures that would show what that five and a half as opposed to five cent tax rate increase would look like," said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann says considering the construction and renovation of the fields lies heavily in the responses and comments that have since come forward following the announcement of the district's plans.
"I think the trustees were listening to their constituents and people in the community getting some feedback. They've had a couple of weeks to study and look over this facilities committee recommendation for the $65 million and they, I think, just wanted to get more information to find out if that half cent is going to cover those baseball and softball facilities -- what that is going to look like and we are going to bring that back to them for Thursday night," said Hoffmann.
Initially, the facilities committee had included and combined the construction of the baseball field and renovation of the softball field with that of the renovation of Matador Stadium. The stadium is currently among the list of proposed projects on the table and includes a $17.3 million price tag for the rebuild of the facility at its current site.
As for Matador baseball, all home games are currently played at Smokey Joe Williams Field located at the Seguin Events Complex. The current softball field is also reportedly in need of an overhaul.
Hoffmann says tackling projects all together especially athletic facilities warrants significant savings-- savings that trustees believe should be considered in the district's overall plan to get to where it wants to be.
"I think the facilities committee, when they discussed this over the course of a year were thinking maybe we don't include it at this point simply because we want to make sure there is a good balance between academic and athletic facilities. However being able to have a contractor on site working on the stadium -- should the bond pass -- and be able to work on that baseball, softball facility should realize some cost savings for the district by simply having one general contractor on the job, on the site, doing both jobs as opposed to having to mobilize and do those projects separately over a course of one, two, three years," said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann says trustees have expressed that it's time to take ownership of the needs of the district while also rolling out its plan for progress. With reported inflation increases of eight percent each year, Hoffmann says the school board wants to begin addressing not one but all facility needs throughout the district.
"Every year, we delay construction on a school or on a school facility, it ends up costing taxpayers more money simply because it cost more to do business the longer you wait to do it so if we are able to tackle these issues and address them sooner as opposed to later and doing one project as opposed to two or three projects -- again, that is going to realize savings for the taxpayers," said Hoffmann.
The list of other proposed bond items include $3.9 million for the renovation of Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, $39 million for the campus wide renovation of A.J. Briesemeister Middle School, $1.8 million for outdoor ADA accessible playscapes, new play areas and shade canopies for all Seguin ISD elementary schools, $1 million for the land purchase of what will be the the future site of a new McQueeney Elementary School and $1.7 million for various campus improvements to include drainage, HVAC, plumbing and furniture.
The proposed bond projects were presented to the district by members of the facilities committee who spent nearly a year meeting and prioritizing plans for the Seguin ISD.
The school board is expected to return and further discuss its plans for a potential bond issue during its second board workshop this week. At that time, trustees will work on finalizing the language for an election order. Should the district proceed with a May 4 election, then trustees would have to order an election by Feb. 15.
Thursday's board workshop gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the Seguin ISD Board Room located inside of Oak Park Mall.