After Saturday’s failure of Elkhart Independent School District’s $9.4 million proposed bond election for a new school and facility renovations, trustees were “disappointed, but not discouraged” by the results.

During a Monday meeting, trustees discussed their next move in regard to solving the continuing problem of overcrowded and dilapidated facilities.

“Most of the people I talked to hoped it would pass,” EISD Superintendent Dr. Glenn Hambrick told trustees. “But it wasn’t because they were against the new school, it was because of the high tax increase.

“I felt like the board did the right thing in calling the bond,” he added. “No matter how long we wait and how much construction costs go up, though, our needs have not changed.”

Hambrick explained to the board that the Texas Legislature would meet in the spring to discuss and possibly lower the high property taxes that barely fund schools and plague taxpayers.

“If they lower property taxes, it may help us in the future,” the superintendent said. “Then the board will decide if and when the time is right to call another bond.”

There are two possible dates for a 2006 bond election, Hambrick said. One in May and the other in November.

“I wouldn’t see a May election as the best way to go,” he said. “But it could be called for November, if the board feels the time is right.”

Saturday’s bond election failed by 12 votes, with a 16 percent voter turnout — two factors Hambrick felt good about in considering another election.

“To look at a bond that size with results that close, I felt very positive about it,” he said. “For that many people to vote for it shows they know how great the need is in the district.”

Board president David Mendiola urged the board to take plenty of time before attempting one again.

“I was very disappointed,” Mendiola said. “I know a lot of people put forth a lot of effort and worked hard to try to get this bond passed.

“But I don’t see us turning around right away and trying again very soon.”

Trustee Edwin Frederick said that as election time neared he heard many voters question why the board chose to build an elementary facility. Others said they heard complaints that an auditorium was very much needed in the district.

“There were a few rumors going around,” Hambrick told the board. “But I feel we did a good job getting the word out — preventing ‘weird’ rumors about the election.

“Many thought we could have done things differently — such as the auditorium,” he added. “But we did what we felt was absolutely necessary.”

Trustee Stephen Ham questioned Hambrick about the district’s need for classroom space.

“Whether the bond passed or failed, we were going to have space issues next year,” Hambrick said. “The elementary school will probably need two or three classroom and the high school could use a couple as well.

“We are going to look at every nook and cranny in the spring,” Hambrick said. “We will also be looking at portable buildings and getting bid proposals.

“Space is certainly getting tight.”

In other business, the board:

• Heard a proposal from high school principal Tim Ratcliff about the creation of a dual credit program with the local Trinity Valley Community College campus.

Ratcliff said the program would give eligible juniors and seniors the chance the get both high school and college credit for certain classes taken during the school day.

Administrations are still researching and creating a policy to be presented to the board after the Christmas holidays.

• Heard an update from Ratcliff on senior TAKS test results.

Ratcliff reported that of the 17 seniors who retook the test and the two who took it for the first time, 14 had passed. Results were expected this week on another five test takers with the next retest held in February.

• Hired elementary teacher Diana Martinez under a 96-day contract subject to assignment in the current school year.

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