SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Out of last week’s election, voters approved a $49.5 million bond for Sweetwater ISD. The school district said it hadn’t received a bond in more than a decade. Not only are some residents excited about the changes coming to the city, but they are also shocked about the voter turnout during this election.
“When that vote count came up on Saturday, I was shocked,” said Becca Locke.
Although Locke has a 7-month-old son, she does not have any children in Sweetwater ISD, but she still spent her free time working to get people to vote ‘yes’ for the school bond.
“When people are moving into your town, the first thing they think about is, ‘oh, I have a family. Where are they going to go to school?’ We want them to have a solid foundation in our school system to be able to confidently move here, as well as potentially with our new gymnasium, attract some outside events,” Locke explained.
To Locke’s surprise, more people voted in this election than in the last school bond election, which did not pass in 2016, according to Superintendent Dr. Deidre Parish.
“The turnout for that one was over 800, so I guess I was thinking, you know, about that range. But we had over 1,000 show up,” said Dr. Parish.
Because the majority of voters said yes, Dr. Parish told KTAB/KRBC the district is using the money to start much-needed repairs on the district, including patching up roofs as soon as possible.
By the fall of 2025, Dr. Parish said she hopes the new CTE (career technology and education) facility and gym will be built and made accessible to students.
“People are trying to improve and make things better, and we want to be a part of that,” Dr. Parish shared.
District improvements include:
- Repair or replace roofs at campuses
- Safety and Security (Secured vestibule at the high school)
- Repair/ replace finishes
- Prioritized Maintenance
Expansion of course offerings:
- Culinary Arts
- Animal Sciences
- Meat Processing
- Floral Design
- Graphic Design
- Retail Management
- Law Enforcement
Below are existing facilities and example images provided by Sweetwater ISD:
Dr. Parish insisted the bond will help the entire community, and not only parents and students.
“When you have a good school system, you have housing, you have businesses, you have the hospital, you have the police department, city,” listed Dr. Parish.
Sherie Alldredge, whose husband owns Sweetwater Veterinary Clinic, said even though she has no children at Sweetwater ISD, she sees the growth this can bring to the city.
“In order for us to make progress, to have our city nice and stable and… grow, we need to make sure that the schools are the best that they can possibly be,” Alldredge expanded.
The bond was long overdue, according to Alldredge. She said her husband went to school in the Sweetwater ISD system and used that same gym.
“I’ve heard some of the comments of what the students say about the facilities, and I find it really heartbreaking,” added Alldredge. She also explained how some of her realtor friends have been unable to sell some homes because of the school district, which Sweetwater realtor Dustanna Spencer confirmed with KTAB/KRBC.
Both Locke and Alldredge joined a political committee that helped spread information about this to encourage people to vote.
These reasons are why Dr. Parish said the community can trust the district with the money they are receiving. Follow this link for a full breakdown on the bond.
$47 million will go towards the new CTE facility and gym, and $7.5 million will go towards district wide improvements. The estimated maximum tax impact will be approximately $9.00 per month for a home valued at $100,000.