BAIRD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In their last meeting, the Baird ISD School Board called for a $17 million bond to go towards a new gymnasium and weight room, new agricultural education facility, and some security and technology improvements to the campus.
These areas were chosen following a community Facility Planning Committee, according to Superintendent Dr. Tim Little.
“Educational buildings are built with about a 50 year expectancy, and that gym is hitting 50 years, so it’s really starting to show its age,” Little says.
In addition to upgrading the Ag facilities they have, this project would add new classrooms, lab spaces, a show barn, and animal shelters so that students could house show animals if needed.
“We have first-class kids and I think first-class kids deserve first-class facilities,” says Little.
This point of view is echoed in support by many Baird residents, like realtor Missy Oliver.
“A school like Baird cant really compete with newer schools because they have the latest and greatest,” Oliver says.
As a realtor, Oliver says a strong school district can have heavy impact on a community’s housing market.
“Baird is an old school, and It’s time to put some money into it because a lot of kids will transfer and go to Clyde. Eventually you do that and you don’t have enough kids here to have a school, and that would be a shame,” says Oliver.
But that benefit is being promised with no increased tax rate to residents.
“Our tax rate right now is a dollar twenty per hundred dollars. That’s going to be the tax rate next year whether the bond passes or not,” says Little.
Though the price tag may be high, Little says tax revenue from nearby wind farms will offset the cost. Essentially, expanding the tax base means rates stay the same.
“Right now the total tax base in Baird is about $275 million. These first two wind projects are adding about $225 million to the tax base,” Little says.
A town hall meeting will be held Thursday, April 21 at the Baird High School auditorium to discuss and explain the process before the May 7 election is held.