Sharyland bond issue draws some support

MISSION — The $35 million Sharyland Independent School District bond proposal voters will decide on in May drew public support from five students, a parent and a former board trustee at the district’s March 29 meeting.

The bond will pay for construction, renovations and additions at Sharyland High School and John H. Shary Elementary to address infrastructure and the safety and security of students.

Proposed projects include a new parking lot, new sixth grade classrooms and a library update at John H. Shary in addition to a band hall expansion, cafeteria expansion and renovation, and campus-wide renovation of buildings over 45 years old at Sharyland High.

Passage of the bond is not expected to change current tax rates.

The district tried to pass a more expansive (and more expensive) bond proposal last year, but that was ultimately rejected by voters.

Speakers at last week’s meeting described the improvements included in this year’s bond attempt as measures the community can’t afford to reject.

“As we get ready to leave, we cannot help but be troubled by the state of disrepair our campus has fallen into,” Senior Class President Dario Leal told the board. “It has become a crippled campus that has been repaired many times over the years, but yet should shine as the root of our district — the original high school that started the successful district we have become.”

Leal called for better central air and heating, saying that mold has been an issue, as well as leaky roofs. He talked about how important those facilities are to the students who use them, saying he knew many would rather be there than at home

“Imagine, how would you feel at home if it were too cold or too hot all the time,” Leal asked. “Or if there was mold at your house?”

Cynthia Flores, an alum and district parent, also described the bond as a need — especially because of the SHS band hall expansion it includes.

“I also have nieces and nephews who are at the Sharyland High School and are in band and they need the expansion and updated facilities as well,” Flores said. “I was in band when I was a student here in Sharyland — I graduated in 2001 — and I’d just like to say a lot of the buildings are the same. We’ve been expanding, building, fixing, but for the new class, new generation of students I think it would be a great improvement to help them build and give them more availability that they need.”

Julio Cerda, a former board member, also added his voice to the list of bond supporters at the meeting. He said that although board support for the bond is not quite unanimous, he doesn’t understand why it shouldn’t be.

Cerda encouraged the community — and at least one board member he refrained from mentioning by name — to see what, in the former trustee’s view, is the bigger picture.

“We’ve got to leave something,” he said. “We’ve got to leave a legacy to make sure that our future students come back to Sharyland — former band members, former football players come back to Sharyland and be proud of Sharyland. And it’s not Sharyland Pioneer or Sharyland Rattlers. It’s Sharyland ISD, and we gotta be for it.”