Silsbee Independent School District Superintendent Richard Bain is urging voters to pass a $29.5 million bond that he says would greatly improve two elementary schools.
"We have to do something... basically they're just old buildings, and with old buildings you get the problems that come with them," Bain told 12News Wednesday afternoon.
Bain says Kirby Elementary and Read-Turrentine Elementary schools, both about 60-year-old buildings, have asbestos, plumbing, and electrical issues. He says the problems don't threaten student safety but that they need to be fixed.
The proposed bond would see the two schools knocked down and combined into one, newer school that would be built next to Read-Turrentine. Bain says if the bond is passed the new school is estimated to be open by May 2015.
The bond would have taxpayers pay more based on the value of their home. For example, someone with a $50,000 home would see about a $70 yearly tax increase. Bain believes the tax hike is worthwhile in the long run.
"Is it better to patch what we have now and still have these older buildings or... have something new that can last and be around for a long time?" he said.
About $4 million of the bond would go towards renovations at Laura Reeves Elementary and Edwards-Johnson Memorial Silsbee Middle School as well. The proposal will be on the May 11 ballot. Early voting will be from April 29-May 7.