Lubbock Cooper's $80 million bond election - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/10/09

Lubbock Cooper's $80 million bond election

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Over 80 percent of the $80 million bond election is for academic classrooms.  The superintendent of Lubbock Cooper Independent School district says new construction is needed to keep up with all the students.

Superintendent Pat Henderson says he cannot believe the growth of the district. "We're not the just fastest growing school district in West Texas, we are now one of the fastest growing in the entire state averaging 8.7% increase in students per year. It's just absolutely amazing," he said.   

Henderson says Cooper ISD has gained 700 students since the last bond election in 2006, but another bond election is needed to keep up with the growth. "The cornerstone of the project is the second middle school. We have one middle school at the present time, we have three elementary schools feeding that middle school and it's full they have close to 700 students. That's the bulk of the bond issue," he said.   

Other projects being considered are a new elementary school, new football stadium, and a new softball and baseball complex. "Right now the estimate is $80 million. There is a cap on where you can go with your INS which is the part of your tax rate where you pay down debt, so that's the most we can go. We are estimating it to be around a $0.25 tax increase per hundred dollars of value," said Henderson.   

But what about those residents who don't have children in the school district, why should their tax rate increase? "They say "why do I have to pay more taxes for buildings or football stadiums or even support the schools in general?" and the way that we answer that is a good quality education for a youngster these days benefits the entire community," said Henderson. 

According to the Lubbock Central Appraisal District those over 65 can have their taxes frozen, so they wouldn't be affected by any increases.

If you live in the Cooper school district and still have questions about the upcoming bond election there is a public hearing on Monday. It is at the Lubbock Cooper Performing Arts center at 6:30 p.m. Before the hearing there will be a ribbon cutting for the performing arts center at 6 p.m.

The Cooper bond election and expanded alcohol sales aren't the only issues on the May 9th ballot. Among other issues that will show up on the ballot are:

  • a 16-million dollar bond issue in Abernathy,
  • board positions for the Abernathy, Roosevelt, and Frenship boards,
  • the mayors of Slaton and Shallowater are up for election,
  • and an Idalou council position as well.

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