TOM BEAN, TX - During a year of sweeping education cuts across Texas, Tom Bean ISD lost more than $200,000. But the district is getting a helping hand, an energy grant that only a handful of schools statewide were approved for. And, it's paying off in a very cool way.
Thanks to some extremely old equipment, and a mountain of paperwork, Tom Bean ISD is getting a much needed makeover.
"Oh, yesterday when I got that back I was elated for our district," said Tom Bean superintendent Kathy Garrison.
A "Cool Schools" energy efficiency grant awarded by the state comptroller's office to the tune of $1 million. The money will go toward replacing old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in all the buildings. 65 in all. Garrison helped write the grant that was submitted back in August.
"That is a twenty percent cost savings across the board in energy reductions for our district," said Garrison, "where we can use that money and taxpayer money elsewhere in our district to instruct our kids and support our kids."
Garrison knew about the award back in October, but couldn't share the good news with parents and staff until final confirmation yesterday.
"I just think it's wonderful." "For the district to get that much money it's just great for them and I hope they put it to good use," said parent Brian Smith.
A million bucks might be a drop in the bucket to some school districts, but to one with an annual budget of around seven million dollars it's a breath of fresh air.
"With the budget shortfalls this year through the state," Garrison said, "you know it was just a welcome dream, let me tell you."