Letter to the Editor

Let me start out that I would like to see a new school built here in Van Horn.  Studies have shown that new schools with new, state of the art technology improve the education of our youth, if the staff is allowed to use that technology.

However, I have concerns about a $30 million bond election.  I felt that it was too high.  I then did some on line research, (part of the new technology),  and went to the www.texastransparency.org web site which is hosted by the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts office.  Data was compiled from 2007 to 2013 and I looked at Mixed Campuses, campuses composed of Elementary schools, Jr High Schools and High Schools on one campus.  These figures are adjusted for inflation and regional cost variations.

The average cost of construction for new schools fitting the above criteria is $162/square foot

The average square footage needed per student, at a school,  is 143 square feet at full capacity.

Based on building a school for 500 students in Van Horn and based on the above data, we need a school that is 71,500 square feet and this will cost $11,583,000.

The CCAISD School Board has proposed a bond election for $30,000,000 for a new mixed campus.

At $30,000,000, CCAISD could build a school that is 209,790 square feet which is bigger than a WalMart Super Center.

The chart below lists the costs of new schools in school districts using mixed campuses; again from 2007 to 2013:

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* Bond amounts for all school districts were not available on line.

Note: the average cost of building a mixed campus school is $9,756,178.

Whoever felt we needed $30,000,000 for a new school needs to be fired or resign.  Our School Board needs to look at industry bench marks before approving an irresponsible bond election.  The elected officials need to do their own due diligence and research for themselves.  They are elected to guide this school district.  $30,000,000 will put us in deep debt which is not necessary.  A new school is needed but financial responsibility needs to be shown by those in charge.  All this data above is public record.   Has any of the elected school Trustees bothered to check?

John Clark