BRENHAM MAY GET NEW JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

  
Kyle Merten gives the Bond Planning Committee report.

As expected, Brenham may get a new Junior High School, but will also see grades 6 through 8 move into it.  At last (Tuesday) nights Brenham School Board meeting the Bond Planning Committee gave their report to the Trustees.  They recommended that 13 major projects be completed in the district, with the big one being a new Junior High being built between the current Junior High and Cub Stadium.  They also recommended that it house grades 6 through 8, with the current Middle School being converted to a 4th Elementary School.  Each of the 4 Elementary Schools will house pre-K through 5th grades.  The bond for all this work is expected to total nearly $154 million dollars.  That would add 24.8 cents to the current tax rate of 98 cents per $100 valuation.  In other words, if you had property worth $100,000 then your taxes would increase $248 per year.  Kyle Merten with the Planning Committee explained why now is the time to build:

 

A board workshop is planned for February 3rd so the board can meet with associates with the LAN architectural and engineering design firm, to go over plans for the new building.  The regular board meeting will then be February 7th were it is expected they will call the Bond.

In other action, the board met in Executive Session and renewed the contract of Superintendent Dr. Tylor Chaplin for another year.  His contract now goes through June of 2025.

They also approved the 2022-2023 District Instructional Calendar.  The calendar is the same as this year’s as the responses to the questionnaire remained the same.

District Director of Health & Safety, Jamie Woodall, presented the board with the current COVID update.  She said there are currently 87 students out with COVID.  She also noted that they have transitioned to car side testing at the Community Education Building in good weather.

Members of the Bond Planning Committee are honored with the School Board at Tuesday's meeting.
Alton Elementary School paraprofessional (L) Mrs. Gail Seilheimer and teacher (center) Ms. Jackie Mitchell of the month are congratulated by (R) Principal Michael Ogg and the Brenham School Board.
(R) Donnie Rybarski is honored as BISD's maintenance employee of the month by (L) Paul Aschenbeck, Director of Facilities and Maintenance and the Brenham School Board.
Brenham ISD Campus Librarians were honored at School Board meeting. Front Row: (L to R) Charlotte Polk, Jami Janosky, Tameka Raven, Robyn Bentke, Sharon Logan, and Robin Cox (Not pictured librarian Alison Vanek)
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22 Comments

  1. I didn’t realize how overcrowded the schools were until I started subbing. For those of you who doubt this, please, sign up to sub… or drive a bus. With all the new homes going up in Brenham, we’ll need more schools sooner than later.

    But, I do agree, I’d like to see all the details and the other 49 items.

  2. Is this a good time to increase indebtedness by $154 million? Can the majority of residents of Washington county afford this with inflation steadily rising? Have the additional costs of another building been taken into consideration…ie: maintenance and insurance?

  3. Is this the right time to be spending $154 million and adding to the tax burden of residents? Hmm….with the economy as it is and with inflation rising, residents are already being strapped financially. A little common sense goes a long way!!!

  4. The county does not have enough Deputies at the Sheriff’s office to patrol and handle the crime . They are woefully short handed and beg and beg for the money to add a few deputies at least. They are short 5 deputies per the population now! Spend some of the tax payers money on something we really need. Not just to show up Burton School district and there big bond.

  5. If some of you will think back, they tried grades 6th through 8th on a campus…it didn’t work. That is why the current grade levels at middle school, junior high and high school was put in place. Maybe try again.

  6. Back when the bond committee was formed, they stated that BISD, would be maxed out on space by 2026. With this being said the committee suggested we close 2 schools and reshuffle the grades.

    Converting the middle school to an elementary school but adding pre-k and 5th grade to the 4 schools, will not add spaces for future growth.
    They have 50 projects, that they want to cover with this bond!!

    Yes something needs to be done for the future but this is not the way!!

  7. More and more taxes, more and more taxes, more and nore taxes, means more and more taxes. Greed with other people’s money is a sin.

  8. I know that the new school is needed , But as a person on a fixed income (with no childeren in school) It has been hard enough to keep up with my Bills with the High cost of Food, Gas, ETC The new tax will really be hard for me to come up with. Mr Merten said the new school would add 24.8 cents to the current tax rate of 98 cents per $100 valuation. In other words, if you had property worth $100,000 then your taxes would increase $248 per year. But Home Values are a lot higher than $100,000 around here So if your home is valued at $300,000 you would pay about $7444. More a year. I know for some that they may spend that for weekend at the Beach , But for me it means the difference of Paying Taxes Or Buying Food and medication. Not everyone here in Brenham can afford an increase like that with our current situation of Inflation .

    1. Please Pardon my error In the Number I have hand Tremors and Hit Too many Numbers… It should say $744. I apologize

  9. You guys/gals really went for the whole hog on this. You know what they say about hogs….. Thanks to the volunteers on this committee but the bond will not pass at this level.

    I have several multi-million dollar projects currently under construction. I disagree with the committee’s view on it being a great time to build. It’s a terrible time to build if you want something done right, on time and on budget. Don’t worry about the rising interest rates. The whole “interest rates are so low” is just a worn out excuse to spend and tax more. Construction costs will come down eventually which will far outweigh any increase in interest rates.

    Lower the wish list and don’t worry about rising interest rates, figure out what the priorities are and present something with a reasonable, attainable outcome and people might actually vote yes.

    Looking at this “committee” some of these members don’t even live in this county. It’s easy to recommend a $154 million bond when you don’t have to make the annual payments.

    I know most of you probably think this is just an old grumpy retiree but I’m actually in my 30’s and just hoping people realize this is not a good idea to saddle the district with this amount of debt.

    Would like to see what the other 49 “projects” are. If I had to guess there would probably be some insane amount of money for upgrades to or the building of a new football or baseball stadiums. All that fluff does nothing to bring up the less than perfect ratings (to put it nicely) of our schools.

    I’m not an out of towner throwing my two cents in. I was born and raised here, played sports here, own businesses here and pay lots of taxes here.

    I’m all for progress but this is an obscene amount of money. Please vote no in May!

  10. I don’t disagree that Brenham needs a new junior high school. However, $154M? They also should be candid with people on what this is really going to cost the average tax payer. There aren’t many $100,000 tax valuation properties in this county. Maybe 30 years ago. A more typical/average figure would be a $300,000 property and that means a tax increase to that payer of nearly $750/year. 7% inflation from all the government money printing has already cut people’s buying power and is already causing many to hurt financially. Fed interest rate increases are about to add to this already bad situation. Poor timing for this to be floated out there.

    1. Maybe they are trying to shock everyone with the $154 million bond to negotiate a $100 million bond. Both options are ludicrous.

      There’s no way the “financial” people on this committee think this is a great idea, they are just going with the flow because they are afraid to look like they are “against the youth of Brenham”. Committee’s have a weird way of coming up with decisions when kids and sports are involved.

      If the financial people on this committee are really for this I would consider not trusting them to make wise decisions with your money.

  11. It’s about time. The current school looks, smells and FEELS like a prison. It’s horrible and embarrassing !!

    1. Haha. So we spend $154 million to build a new building that will eventually look like a prison?

      May need the fallout shelter underneath the school with Russia invading Ukraine soon.

    2. Prime example of not taking care and maintaining what you have. If I can maintain a 100 year old house, these schools can be maintained as well. Same with all the other Taj Mahals they’ve built. It’s called “Stewardship”. How about we work on that, instead of using it as an excuse to raise massive amounts of taxes. I guess they want only millionaires in this town. And “NEWSFLASH”, we have enough parks.

      1. Yes, I’m sure maintaining a building that has thousands of people a year come through it is the same as maintaining your home.

        Not arguing for a new school, but come on. Your ability to maintain your home is not an argument against a new school.

        1. Actually, many antique homes in Brenham have been renovated, from the ground up, and serve as businesses. Depending on the business, they can actually see thousands of visitors a year. Roofing systems, a/c and heat systems, plumbing systems, structural work, foundation repair, electrical replacement etc. is all doable, and I didn’t spend 154 million dollars to do it. I never alluded to what the house was used for, so an assumption was made, and yes, I do have that much traffic. The middle school, the library, the old police department, which was deemed a “health concern”, now houses a health agency. This town is notorious for disregarding historical buildings, and abandoning them outright, when they cold be saved. But no the first impulse is to spend megabucks for something brand new, that sends taxes through the roof. We don’t need another park, some of which sit empty, most of the time. The middle school was renovated successfully, why not the junior high?

          1. When you did your business’ facility planning, did you consider the implications of non-compliance with federal civil rights laws? Probably not. I sincerely hope you never have to. Followup question: Did you have to provide the same level of business services at your existing facility while also completely remodeling that same facility at the same time? If you had to move to a different building during the remodel, did there exist a suitable vacant facility to move into? I mean no disrespect, but the school district is not a small business. Jack in the Box temporarily closed for a remodel and that was just fine and consumers ate elsewhere, but BISD can’t just suspend Junior High services in the same way. However, like yourself I do hope that they can find some way to trim the fat.

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