Newspaper Article 2018 10 31

Posted by HENSLEY CONE on 11/2/2018 6:00:00 AM

Dr. Cone’s Perspective October 31, 2018

Over the past weeks, I have discussed the many things we are doing academically in our district to increase student success as well as the facts of our Bond election that is on the November 6, 2018 election ballot. In most all bond programs, there exist more needs than can be met at any given time. Natalia ISD is not an exception to that phenomenon. After a year of planning, we recently approved a project worth 1.9 million dollars to make additional facilities improvements beyond the capability of the bond. These improvements are paid by increased energy savings that are guaranteed by law and impose no additional cost on our budget nor an increase in taxes.

So, what are these improvements? The improvements include lighting upgrades, HVAC replacements, solar energy, sealing of building envelopes as well as security upgrades. Of the 131 HVAC units in the district, nearly 50% are beyond 15 years old. Many are inefficient and are in need of frequent repairs. The district will be replacing 48 HVAC units to provide significant energy savings and a comfortable learning environment for our students. 1963 lights will be upgraded to LED lights for increased energy savings and better quality lighting for learning. Leaking building envelopes will be sealed to reduce energy consumption and stabilize temperature fluctuations.

In light of the school shooting scenarios around the country over the past several years, school safety has become an important consideration. Fortunately, the energy savings provides funding for a few security measures to be implemented as well. All buildings will have card access systems installed. In addition, the High School will have a security vestibule installed in the main entrance to control traffic flow and entrance into the building. Additional in-depth information can be found posted as an attachment with our last regularly posted board meeting agenda.

School district budgets have become increasingly tighter over the past several years. We are still funded at a level lower than that of the 2011 year when the State of Texas made major funding cuts.  We will continue to think “outside of the box” about ways to fund the improvement of our schools, analyze ways to save and seek grants to supplement funding.

Your continued support of our children and school is recognized and deeply appreciated.