$20.8 million Denison school bond passes

DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - Tuesday night voters passed the $20.8 million school bond in Denison with 55 percent of the vote.

The bond will pay for the expansion of Mayes and Hyde Park Elementary Schools and will raise property taxes about two cents.

But district officials said homeowners will still see lower tax bills due to the new school finance bill the Texas Legislature passed this year.

Eight years ago, Denison voters passed a nearly $80 million bond that paid for the construction of the new high school, significantly raising property taxes.

Tuesday afternoon firemen responded to Mayes Elementary for an incident completely unrelated to the vote.

Students evacuated when there was smoke in the gym.

It turns out it was a malfunction in an older AC unit, which is just one of many reasons bond supporters said it's time for a change.

They hope to have the unit fixed this week.

And now that the bond passed, Mayes and Hyde Park will get new and renovated classrooms, new parking, bus loops, drop-off areas and more.

Denison ISD said both schools are over-crowded, plus there's safety and security risks associated with the portable classrooms that currently house some students at both schools.

"The properties are old, except for the new high school and they've let them go a little bit not maintained as much as they should," said Denison voter Chuck Lawson.

"Allocate it properly, use it to educate our children, not to add frills to buildings. And I know that general maintenance needs to be done, but there's a lot of things that can be done without. And put that money to a better use," said voter Deborah Whittington.

There's no word yet on when construction will start.

But with the additions and if the increasing enrollment continues, Denison ISD expects to provide space from pre-K to 4th grade for around 10 years.

Homeowners will still see an overall decrease in property taxes, thanks to the school finance bill passed by the state.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the 2011 bond paid for renovations to Munson Stadium. Those renovations were made possible by the contributions of a private donor. We apologize for this mistake.