Peaster football has made history several times since beginning its program this season, including the first win for both the seventh- and eighth-grade teams.
Now, the program is hoping to make more history and capture its biggest win yet with a $13.5 million bond election that includes a new stadium.
Early voting ends Friday, with the general election Tuesday. Hours for early voting are 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and hours for the general election are 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
The tax effects on local property owners would be $1,076.82 annually for the 2018-19 school year, increasing to $1,171.06 in 2020-21 for property valued at $100,000. For those persons receiving a senior citizen exemption on their homestead, there is no tax increase.
Becky McCullough is spearheading the drive to get the bond passed in this second attempt. It failed in a May election. She said she is confident this time will be a success.
"I think there has been a much better job done this time informing people what is in the bond. Peaster is a small but growing community people want to have knowledge and be included in the conversation," she said. "We have worked very hard to do that."
McCullough said efforts to inform the community included hosting a town hall meeting that included dinner. After seeing a presentation from Superintendent Matt Adams, citizens were given the opportunity to ask questions.
She said a Vote Yes for Peaster ISD Facebook page was also started. Updates are posted every couple or three days, and she said they are being shared frequently.
"We don't want anyone to feel like they were unable to find information," McCullough said.
In addition, signs, mailers and even a billboard have been purchased through fundraising efforts by the Peaster ISD PAC (political action committee).
The bond proposal also includes improvements for all three campuses (elementary, middle, high school). These include lighting, mechanical, electrical, and security upgrades.
A computerized numeric control lab will be installed at the agricultural sciences building. Also, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for the new CNC lab and current shop area will be added.
The bond also includes funding for additional buses and technology upgrades for grades K-12.
"There is something in this bond for every campus," McCullough said, adding that the upgrades to HVAC and electrical ill save the school district an estimated $65,000 to $75,000 a year in utilities.
She also noted that Peaster's ag department is a big part of the bond too, and the largest extra-curricular program at Peaster ISD.
"Adding a CNC lab will help increase students skills and capabilities to be job ready after graduation," she said.
In this inaugural season the Greyhounds are only fielding junior high teams. Plans are to grow the program in the next few years to include a varsity team. As that happens, having a stadium is a must, said head coach Matt Chapman, adding that the bond is, however, not all about football.
"The bond will fill many needs for our school district," he said. "The facilities will give our football kids as well as numerous kids in other sports here at Peaster the tools necessary to be successful."
Several citizens have also voiced their approval for the bond.
"I'm excited about how it will pull our community together in the new town of Peaster," Don Smelley said.
"Peaster is a wonderful place to raise our families, and our school is a big part of this community. When we built the softball, baseball, tennis courts, track and ag farm, it was about opportunities for the kids," Gerald Hobson said. "If the new football program will bring more opportunities for our kids, I'm all for it."
Agriculture Science Instructor Brent Wicker said the opportunities that could be created in his department could benefit students as they enter the job market.
"Students that graduate with knowledge and experience on automated equipment and modern computer controlled tools are far more employable," he said. "This equipment will greatly expand the skills of Peaster students beyond traditional welding and fabrication, and will give them a huge advantage when applying for jobs in the skilled-trades after graduation."
Former Peaster student-athlete Mikayla Fadden, now a freshman at Texas A&M, said it is all about school and community spirit.
"I have never experienced the amount of school spirit, pride and lifelong memories that this football season at A&M has brought me," she said. "Peaster ISD will benefit tremendously from the addition of football and the other improvements. Let our students and fans be proud of the facilities that we play in, and I promise, you will watch school spirit and pride grow like never before."
McCullough said adding a football stadium is a logical response to the popularity of the program, along with football, cheerleading and band.
"I think adding the stadium for these kids would give them something to be proud to play in," she said. "Peaster ISD is the heart of the Peaster community. The stadium will add to that. The thought of Friday night lights in a few years is very exciting."
EARLY VOTING ENDING IN ALEDO
Early voting is nearing an end for the Aledo School District (AISD) 2017 bond election. It concludes Friday with the general election Tuesday. Voting can be done at the AISD Administration Building, 1008 Bailey Ranch Rd. Hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
Voters will be considering two propositions. The first, Proposition A, includes a $64.19 million bond for the construction of a new middle school, along with the re-purposing of McAnally Intermediate as an elementary school. Proposition B, $8.76 million, is for agriculture and CTE updates, along with land purchase for current and future building needs.
If approved, the new middle school will house 900 students and alleviate existing capacity limitations, along with allowing for future growth and support of the new grades 6-8 configuration.
McAnally will be renovated to suit elementary level special program, include a new playground, provide canopies for student pick-up and drop-off.
Additional barn space for large animals would benefit the agricultural department. The existing barn will be renovated, site drainage will be improved, and additional classroom space will be provided at the existing shop to accomodate growth.
School district figures show the estimated monthly tax impact for Proposition A would be $2.42 per $100,000 and 33 cents per $100,000 for Proposition B. Homesteads ages 65-plus have capped tax rate and would not be affected.