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MISD Board Of Trustees Approves Bringing a $569 Million Bond Election To Midland Voters In November

By Mitch Borden

Over the last decade, as Midland has grown tremendously, the West Texas city has increasingly seen its schools struggle to deal with the number of students enrolling in its largest school district, Midland Independent School District. To relieve campuses that are currently bursting at the seams and to prepare for even more growth in years to come the districts school board is bringing a bond election to Midland voters.

The two largest high schools in Midland are overcrowded. According to the Midland Independent School District, or MISD, both Midland High School and Robert E. Lee High School serve more than double the amount of students the campuses were originally built for. It’s estimated both high schools had over 2,000 students at the end of last school year when they were designed to hold a little over 1,000.

At Monday's MISD board of trustee regular meeting, board president, Rick Davis told a gathered audience the overcrowding needs to be addressed. He said, “It’s been 60 years since the last time this community voted to build a new high school.”

The Davis went on to outline how the district is working on solutions to the over-crowding problem and then the board took a big step. It unanimously approved putting a bond election out to Midland voters in November. Davis said this bond will be crucial in creating space for MISD's growing student population. According to him, “Our student capacity needs are real. They are here and will only worsen with time unless we take action.”

If approved, the bond would be worth $569 million and it would go towards building two new high school campuses along with refurbishing one of the older high school campuses. Other updates at elementary and middle schools would also be funded by the bond. It’s estimated around 5,000 additional seats will be added to the school district if voters approve the bond in the Fall elections.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.