Edcouch-Elsa trustees eyeing bond push

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The Edcouch-Elsa ISD administration building in an undated photo. (Courtesy photo)

Edcouch-Elsa ISD trustees are considering making a bond push in November for improvements that could include safety upgrades, building maintenance and some new facilities.

The district’s board discussed proposed bond projects, a potential election timeline and received a financial presentation on the matter in late July.

Edcouch-Elsa last made a go at a bond in May of 2022. That $26 million bond failed by a relatively slim margin.

Interim Superintendent Alda Benavides said Tuesday that trustees are currently looking at a bond somewhere around $30 million, though she noted that discussions are preliminary.

She said she expected to continue assessing needs with principals and communicate with trustees this week.

“They haven’t made a solid determination,” Benavides said. “It looks like a majority does want to go for it, but we need to package it correctly and see what our needs are and run it through them before we make that final decision on whether to go for it in November or wait until May.”

According to Benavides, the prospective bond would likely address safety as a priority, including perimeter fencing, camera updates and increased lighting.

“Just basic safety and security upgrades that we need to make,” she said.

The bond could also include renovations to older facilities in need of upkeep and possibly new facilities — including a girls’ athletic facility and potentially additional career and technology education learning space.

Benavides — who was not with the district when its bond failed in 2022 — said she felt a November election would have a better chance of success with significant communication.

“Involving our community and explaining our needs,” she said. “Having community meetings so that everyone knows what the needs are and everyone understands. Just improved communication across the community.”

Edcouch-Elsa is one of several Hidalgo County school districts considering asking voters to approve measures this fall that would generate an influx of cash.

Both Edinburg CISD and McAllen ISD began considering tax rate ratification elections during their budget processes this summer as a way to generate cash.

Weslaco ISD has been discussing a bond push in depth for months, while Mission CISD was slated to discuss professional services for bond counsel Wednesday.