PREMONT, Texas — Premont Independent School District Superintendent Steve VanMatre said the district is ready to get to work on renovations to the high school after voters approved a $4.1 million bond proposal.
Voters passed the bond to renovate Premont Collegiate High School. It was built in 1971 and the superintendent there said those bond dollars will be used for major security upgrades at the high school, as well as renovation of the classrooms and bathrooms.
"Security is first, VanMatre said. "That’s the number one priority of any superintendent is keeping students and staff safe. And right now, our current campus in the condition that it’s in, has some holes in it that make me uncomfortable.”
Some of those concerns the superintendent pointed out include that it’s an open campus in the back of the high school. Also, the band hall and wing of classrooms are separated from the main campus.
He also pointed out that security cameras need to be improved and that the district needs to put a fence around the high school. Those are some of the immediate problems that will be addressed and then eventually, the classrooms and bathrooms will be renovated.
"The learning environment in our classrooms at the secondary campus are substandard," VanMatre said. "So are our restroom facilities. Our band hall, fine arts is a huge component in Premont ISD and that facility has not met the needs of our students.”
First, the school district has to certify the votes and they’ll do that on May 10. After that -- they’ll have discussions with their financial advisors and then they will try and sell Premont bonds in New York.
"We have a rating and we’re guaranteed by the Permanent School Foundation, which makes the interest rates very attractive for any Texas ISD, and that’ll happen in June," VanMatre said.
Sometime in July, the school district will get the proceeds from those bonds. They will then begin to select and hire architects to come up with the needed improvements.
The superintendent said a community committee will be formed to help make the decisions on what security measures will be made at the high school, which includes the scope of that work as well as the renovations. The actual work is expected to begin in September.
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