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Cleveland ISD to call bond in $225-250 million range

January 23, 2019

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland ISD school board approved a motion to place a bond referendum on the May 4 ballot.

The board voted unanimously to call for a bond that will range from $225-$250 million on Tuesday during its monthly meeting at the Cleveland ISD administration building.

The referendum is about a $150 million increase from a previous bond election that was approved by voters in 2017.

The bond is necessary to address rapid student population growth in the area, Cleveland ISD Superintendent Darrell Myers said. Enrollment at Cleveland ISD has nearly doubled since 2014 from 3,800 to 6,500 students, straining the district and schools.

“I have never been associated with a school district that has grown this fast before,” Myers said. “There’s not that many districts in the state that have gone through this. Maybe Frisco and places like that, but it’s a pretty fast how Cleveland is growing.”

Myers, who announced that he will retire after the school year, said he would recommend a bond on the high end of the spectrum, at $250 million.

The new bond, if approved by the Cleveland community, would include a new middle school and repairs to other schools in the district.

It could also include another elementary school and high school for Cleveland ISD depending on the enrollment growth this summer. More details about the bond will be announced to the public in March, Myers said.

The bond project would take about three years to complete. The move comes on the heels of a $85 million bond in 2017 that is ahead of schedule, according to district officials.

Cleveland Mayor Otis Cohn announced that the referendum was inevitable during a city council meeting last week.

“I know most of the citizens in Cleveland don’t want to hear about another school bond coming up,” said Cohn while addressing the public. “But the way the school district is growing the need for that is going to be inevitable.”

Permanent football coach

The board officially hired interim athletic director Norris Taff at the board meeting as the full-time athletic director and football coach. Taff has 34 years of coaching experience, however, this will be his first head coaching job.

“It’s a dream come true,” Taff said. “It’s the only job I ever wanted and it’s the only job I have ever coveted. This is not a stepping stone for me. I’m a Cleveland Indian.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

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