Six months after Nocona voters said no to a proposed bond for a new high school, Nocona ISD officials are trying again, and they’ve raised the investment by almost 2- million dollars.
Even with the price tag rising from 15 million to almost 17 million, school officials hope to get it passed this time.
They listened to the concerns of the community and went back to the drawing board, they said in hopes that this time voters will say yes to a long- term investment for their students.
After Nocona voters shot down a bond proposal in May, those like Nocona Paula Nobile hope there’s a different outcome this time around.
“I think we need to do this for our children, for the children that are there right now, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren,” Nobile said. “The school is old. We’ve done a lot of things for this town but now we need to do something for the kids.”
The $16.8 million dollar bond would fund a new 81,000 square foot school, with larger science labs, rooms for fine arts programs, and additional classrooms.
“Our children, just like every community, they are our best assets,” Len Dingler, school board president, said. “So whatever we can do to the future of our children that’s what we need to do.”
School board officials said only the library meets state standards in the current school built in the 1950’s, and now is the time to invest in the future.
“I always tell them someone paid for the school I went to, I didn’t pay for that,” Dingler said. “So it’s my turn to pay for the school these kids are going to.”
Others, though, like Nocona resident Don Cheshler, worry the $16.8 million dollar price tag would leave just too much debt hanging over their heads and higher taxes.
“I truly just don’t believe that we need it,” Cheshler said. “We’ve got a very nice school system here and we are debt free and that is worth a lot.” “We are getting too wrapped up in materialism, we are trying to keep up with the Jones’s.”
If the new high school building gets approved by voters, it will be the first time a bond has been passed in Nocona in nearly 40 years.
School board officials said the $2 million dollars more for the bond is thanks to the price of construction costs going up.
If the school bond passes– taxpayers can expect to see a maximum of a .43 cent tax increase.
The Nocona bond that failed in May did so by a margin of 56 to 43 percent.