Aquatics or fine arts? San Benito CISD consider uses for new land

SAN BENITO — An aquatic center or a performing arts center or both could be future neighbors of the Dr. Raul Garza Jr. STEAM Academy, along the expressway near the Freddy Fender water tower.

However, the plans for these are very early in the process.

Either way, the district now owns the property.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman said he and the district are looking forward to learning what the community wants.

“If the community pushes for or agrees that we need a fine arts center or if they decide that we need an aquatic center or both, I’ll be happy to work with the board and the community in seeing those through for submission,” Carman said in an interview earlier this week.

“But right now we’re still investigating with the community as far as whether or not they want these facilities,” Carman added.

During last week’s school board meeting, the bard approved the purchase of 20 acres of land next to the Jr. STEAM Academy for $105,000.

“Any time that adjacent property to a school building comes up, it’s wise to always consider it,” Carman said in an interview.

What happens next is still up in the air. No monetary figures have been discussed. If a plan is agreed upon, any project would require bonding.

A bond election would have to be used to finance a building project or other capital project.

A committee of community members is in the process of considering possible construction of these potential projects. The committee will decide whether or not to recommend to the board whether they believe it’s appropriate to call a bond election for these or other construction projects.

The recommendation from the committee to the board is expected to be made sometime next month.

“By the time it’s funded, you’re not going to break ground until the spring, so we’re still months away if they call a bond,” Carman said in an interview.