Voters approve $10.5 million bond to help Alto ISD rebuild in wake of tornado

Voters approve $10.5 million bond to help Alto ISD rebuild in wake of tornado
Alto ISD

ALTO, Texas (KTRE) - Alto Independent School District will soon begin the planning and designing of its new high school and gymnasium after voters approved a $10.5 million bond on Tuesday.

District staff and administrators had abundant thank yous following the passage.

“We just appreciate the Alto voters getting out and supporting our community, our school, and our kids so much,” said Paula Low, the district’s testing coordinator.

More than 600 district residents voted, with two-thirds showing their support for the $10.5 million bond for a new high school and gym. Community bond committee member Lee Pearman is anxious to get the project going.

"The plan is the bonds will sell in February of '20,” started Pearman as he went down the list of things to do over the next couple of years. “And then during the spring of '20 the school administration and officials will be going over the final details and design of the new high school and gymnasium and then somewhere around May or June of '20 you will see the construction phase begin and hopefully it will be ending in August of '21. "

Tornado recovery is happening in other ways. Roofers are removing blue tarps on the elementary to make way for new roofing. The baseball field is undergoing repairs. All the projects fulfill the district's theme of 'don't look back'.

“This is such a morale booster for our kids, for our teachers, for everyone here,” said Low.

The district released a statement on its Facebook page shortly after the preliminary results suggested passage, saying in part:

Words cannot adequately capture our heartfelt appreciation for the tremendous work of an incredible team of parents, community members, clergy, teachers, administration, board members, and business leaders who helped our community understand the need for the proposal and the importance of putting our children first.
Alto ISD

A tornado on April 13 severely damaged the Alto High School, making the building uninhabitable for students in the 2019-20 school year. Students have spent the school year learning in portable buildings on other campus grounds.

School district leaders said they exhausted all other options before presenting voters with a $10.5 million bond that would help pay for a new high school. The bond was originally planned closer to Nov. 2022, but the damage done to Alto High School was too much to reconsider.

Bond revenue will pay for the demolition of the existing school and construction of a new school on the same site, according to a member of the bond steering committee.

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+ Alto ISD making progress in repairs to damage caused by April storms

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