Speaking with Orangefield ISD Superintendent Shaun McAlpin and Little Cypress Mauriceville CISD Superintendent Stacey Brister election night, you could hear the relief in their voices.
Voters approved Orangefield’s $42.9 million bond for improvements to all three campuses. Voters in the LCM district approved a Voter Approved Tax Rate Election (VATRE), that will allow the district to receive an estimated 3 million annually in additional funding.
Orangefield voters approved the bond with 1044 voting For it and 471 voting Against. Over in the LCM district 1627 voted For and 1155 Against.
“Validated,” McAlpin said when asked how he felt about the results. “Ready to get started thanks to the support. You never know until election day but we (the board and I) felt confident in what we were proposing and we made ourselves available at any time to explain and answer questions. There really wasn’t a strong opposition. But again you don’t feel comfortable until the votes are canvassed.”
The school board will begin working with architects and getting surveys and proposals. McAlpin said visual work will probably begin in the first quarter of next year.
For Brister, the results are a little more emotional. Just before early voting started, International Paper (the district’s largest taxing entity), announced they would be closing.
“We’re so thankful to the LCM community who have shown their trust and support during this tax ratification election,” she said. “The result is a testament to the community’s commitment to our district and the needs of our students and staff as we prepare future ready graduates at LCM.”
LCMCISD will be granted $2 million in additional state revenue and approximately $922,179 in local revenue for a total of almost three million. Much of that initial money will be used to create the now state required police department for the district.
-Gary Stelly, KOGT-