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NISD bond - on time, under budget

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In 2017, voters approved a $55 million bond for Navasota Independent School District. Fast forward to 2022, and bond construction is complete and under budget.

Navasota ISD Board Members heard the bond update during the monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 19. Dr. Ronnie Gonzalez, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, stated all buildings have been completed as part of the 2017 bond. The project was completed on-time and under budget. Gonzalez stated the district- wide bond is $590,645 under budget. In addition to bond savings, NISD earned $1,842,995 from bond investments. There were many areas addressed throughout the district including Career and Technology Education facilities, several new roofs and HVAC systems, Brosig “Rock Gym,” Brosig Auditorium, several new classroom wings and more. Every NISD campus had upgrades from the bond.

There is one facility that was originally included during one of the bond phases that still needs addressing. “From the 2017 bond, Brule Auxiliary Gym was part of one of the phases,” explained Gonzalez. “According to our lawyers, since it [Aux. Gym] was part of the initial bond, we still have to address it in some capacity.”

The initial plan was to repurpose the gym to a maintenance garage and convert the existing locker rooms into maintenance office space. That plan included renovating the Rock Gym into a regulation-sized basketball court. The Rock Gym was renovated, but due to a limited footprint, the court is not regulation-size.

Gonzalez said including Brule Auxiliary Gym, there are five regulation- size gyms across the district that can be used for basketball and volleyball. He said the district doesn’t want to lose a regulation-size gym. “We would like to recommend keeping Brule Auxiliary Gym as a gym and not remodel it as a garage,” stated Gonzalez.

Potential upgrades to the gym include: repainting, adding new lights, new bleachers, new rubber court flooring etc. Gonzalez said they will meet with lawyers in the future to explore all possibilities. NISD Superintendent Dr. Stu Musick explained there are essentially “two pots of money.” One is bond savings, and the other is bond investment proceeds. “We pretty much have the flexibility with the investment earnings to use as needed,” said Musick.

Board member, Greg Malek, asked if original parent bond surveys were available for review. “I think we should review those surveys before we decide which direction to go. We just want to ensure we give taxpayers what they voted for,” he explained.

Gonzalez said they have compiled a generic “wish and needs list” from teachers throughout the district on potential ways to utilize bond investment proceeds, but the list is only a rough draft.

Band trip approved

The board unanimously voted to approve a Navasota High School Band trip to Branson, Missouri during Spring Break 2023.

Band members will have the opportunity to perform during the trio and will also experience various educational and cultural stops. Estimated cost per student is $1,000 but that is dependent on number of students who commit to going.

Attendance on track

Superintendent Musick reported good attendance numbers for the first 4-weeks of school. He stated these numbers are the best the district has seen since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall NISD has a 95.74% attendance rate. Brule Elementary has the highest attendance at 96.99% followed by John C. Webb Elementary 96.06%, Navasota Junior High 95.99%, Navasota High School 95.71%, High Point Elementary 95.51% and W.B. Bizzell Academy 87.48%.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m.