Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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October 18, 2013

JISD superintendent presents bond election to Kiwanis Club

(Continued)

JACKSONVILLE — Q:  What has been the overall response to the call for an election?

Wardell: I have really had very positive comments about the bond election. Probably the only negative I have head came to me in the form of "Why wait? Why not wait two or three or five years or whatever?"

Yeah, we could wait, but what's really going to be different in two or three or five years from now? Are interest rates going to be lower? Are construction consist going to be lower?

I don't have a crystal ball and I'm not allowed to give my opinion so all I have to offer you are these facts.  

Q: What can you tell us about future growth in the district?

Wardell: Demographics say about 1 percent growth every year for the next few years. We are at 4,900 students. We have 170 students more today than we had the last day of school last year. We are continuing to grow a little bit.

Q: In regard to the new school all the former LMC property: Is this pasture field already cleared out? Or will the district have to do additional prep work besides soil testing?

Wardell: The great thing about that piece of property is utilities are already there. …  We feel it will still have to have a little bit of work. Some clearing will have to take place whenever we put the school in there, but it's a very good location — five blocks, six blocks from the former West Side school over to that facility. Still in the same neighborhood. We're trying as much as possible to keep it in a neighborhood-type setting.

Q: On the building of the new school: Have you figured out — are you prepared for — growth?

Wardell: We are trying our best to add a little bit. We don't want to overbuild, There is fine line in there.

The new West Side elementary will be identical to the East Side as you want the same size characteristics in there. There will be a gym, an office area —  all of that will be the same.

There will be only two wings on there. Two wings will serve 530 students. … If the area continues to grow we will come back in there someday and decide whether or not to add a third wing.

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