WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—As voters, there’s a lot to consider this November, and for Bowie residents, that includes a more than $60 million bond package.
“$65 million is a lot of money, and we wanted to make sure that we were able to touch every campus for our kids in our community,” Bowie Independent School District Superintendent Blake Enlow said.
The Bowie community will vote on the district’s $65.8 million dollar bond on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. It will be a bond that brings forth a completely new campus and upgrades to the others.
“If the bond program passes, our plan will be to build a new intermediate school first,” Enlow said. “It would house third, fourth and fifth-grade students, then they would start renovations on the Mill Street Campus which is currently the intermediate. We would renovate it to be our junior high again. Once that process finishes, then the administration offices will move to the old junior high on Tarrant Street.”
Allowing for the new intermediate campus, and still having the funds to renovate the current one to be used, Enlow said the nearly 100-year-old building could really use the upgrades.
“Our current intermediate, where we are today, is three separate buildings, and with the safety issues knowing what happened in Uvalde and situations in the last few years, kids going in and out of a building, even though they have an adult, is just not the safest situation,” he added.
The new campus will be one building, constructed on the vacant lot next to the current junior high, and the bond won’t hurt taxpayers’ pockets.
“The legislature in this last session passed tax compression for school districts,” Enlow continued. “Our tax rate compressed 16 cents already, so our tax rate went down 16 cents before the bond. The next thing that has been proposed, as most people have heard, is moving the homestead exemption from $40,000 dollars to $100,000. Taxes will be less in 2024 than in 2023 — yes, it’s a 25-cent tax increase overall, but when you take those two factors in, overall what the taxpayer pays goes down in ’24 from ’23,” he explained.
This new intermediate campus will be big enough for the anticipated growth, equipped with storm shelters. The bond also allows upgrades like new restrooms at the athletic fields, parking lot changes and even a new weight room.
“Think about the kids, think about the facilities, think about safety, number one,” Enlow said.
All are things to consider when you cast your ballot.
For more information on the upcoming bond, click here. There will also be a town hall meeting to further discuss the bond held on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at Bowie Intermediate School, starting at 5:30 p.m.