Editor’s note: as part of The Community News’ ongoing coverage of the November bond election for Aledo Independent School District, we will feature “Five Questions With” as part of a three week series. This first part of the series speaks with Derek Citty, Aledo ISD Superintendent, and originally appeared in the Sept. 29 issue of The Community News.
1. When and where are the town hall meetings and how do they work? Will anyone besides you be available there to answer questions? The meetings are an opportunity to educate the community regarding the facts associated with each of the bond propositions. We want to give our community multiple opportunities to attend one of the meetings and two Town Hall meetings have also been scheduled. We have invited School Board and Bond Steering Committee members to attend and offer insight into their decision making.
2. Why does the site for middle school #2 need to be north of Interstate 20?
Our first priority is to the serve our students. With that said, we will always follow the lead of our demographic data and recommend the placement of schools where students are or will soon be. In consultation with the demographer who has studied our numbers closely, the recommendation continues to be placement of middle school No. 2 north of Interstate 20.
3. What exactly does “future land purchase” cover? Doesn’t the district already own land for future school sites?
With the district continuing to grow by hundreds of students per year, we will continuously seek land for future school sites. It is in the district’s best interest to stay 5-7 years ahead of anticipated construction. The district is in contract negotiations for elementary school No. 6.
The district also owns land designated for high school No. 2 north of Old Weatherford Road. Since high school sites require the largest amount of acreage, it is the administration’s recommendation that the Old Weatherford Road site be reserved for a high school campus. However, while the site is adequate for a single high school, it is not large enough for another school campus.
4. Why does AHS need a bigger and better Ag building? Isn’t the current one sufficient? Our vocational agricultural program continues to flourish as well as other career tech programs in Aledo ISD. The agriculture program has grown from less than 25 students in 2013 to over 350 this year.
The need becomes size and capacity for these students to succeed in this growing program. An example of the stress this program currently experiences is the beginning of the show season. This part of the instructional program requires additional space for animals that has exceeded the current facility’s capacity.
The Bond Steering Committee reviewed this program and recommended additional barn space and a classroom to support growth. This is included in Proposition B of the bond election.
5. Will Vandagriff Elementary School be torn down if the bond passes? What will happen to the campus names “Vandagriff” and “McAnally”?
The students at Vandagriff Elementary would be moved to McAnally Intermediate and that campus would be repurposed as an elementary. The administration has notified the School Board of the intention to recommend the renaming of McAnally to Vandagriff Elementary when the move would occur in 2020.
We also recommend that middle school No. 2 be named McAnally Middle School when it opens. We will continue to honor the legacy of these two individuals and all they have meant to the tradition and foundation of Aledo ISD.
Once students are moved from Vandagriff Elementary, the building will be potentially repurposed.
6. What else do you feel the community needs to know?
I encourage our community to attend one of the bond presentations and be as informed as possible to vote. Also, please visit our 2017 Bond Election page on the district’s website. The page also includes an informative video that outlines the bond. In the coming weeks, please follow Aledo ISD’s social media on Facebook and Twitter for more bond communications. Early voting begins Oct. 23 and election day is Nov. 7.