Setting the record straight: There is no plan to issue bond proposal for Hook Elementary.
By CHAD ELMS
Special to Beneath the Surface News
Over the last several days, I’ve started to hear some misinformation floating around on social media regarding a few vital topics related to Stephenville ISD.
I believe I read online it was Abraham Lincoln who originally said you can never fully trust what you read on the internet, so I wanted to take a few minutes to try and provide clarity, specifically regarding questions about the condition of Hook Elementary.
This issue was addressed publicly by Dr. Cederstrom in Monday’s board meeting, but I would like to recap the information for those that weren’t able to attend. As a reminder, all of our board meetings are live streamed for those interested in attending from home. Since the live streams are hard to hear at times, we also record them and add captions where possible for anyone that would like to access those at a later date.
Recently, a few in our community have questioned the condition of Hook Elementary. I have heard there are social media posts with individuals using words like “condemned.” Yikes!
Others have insinuated the school board has inside information that the campus is unsafe and that another bond will need to be called in the near future to rebuild the campus.
In order to put these concerns to rest, I wanted to provide actual details about Hook Elementary based on the latest, public information I have been given as a trustee for Stephenville ISD. While I do not intend to represent the school board as a whole through this article, I do feel it is important to provide factual details as a citizen when I see an opportunity to clear up misunderstandings within the community.
For those that may not be aware, Hook Elementary had some shifting in the foundation due to the severe drought this past summer. The shifting caused some cosmetic damage in two different places – one in the “300 hallway” of the main school itself and the other in the auditorium.
At that time, the district brought in an engineer to assess the damage, as well as the structural integrity of the school. The damage in the “300 hallway” of the main school was determined to be cosmetic and repairs were quickly completed.
The damage in the auditorium underwent a more thorough assessment by the engineer, but in a full report presented to the district last week, that damage was determined to be cosmetic as well, and the auditorium was deemed structurally sound.
While the auditorium is structurally sound, the district has disallowed use of that facility until the repairs of the brick façade can be made. In short, it looks like we will simply need to pull the brick down (since it is simply a decorative feature and not a load bearing wall) and replace it with new studs, dry wall and paint.
School administration is currently working to procure bids on what the repairs will cost, and although we do not have final bids at this time, preliminary thoughts are that the repair costs will be nominal.
There has been no discussion of needing to come to the public with another bond proposal after November to rebuild Hook; that is simply not the case.
The reality is parts of the campus are six decades old. We have had to make various repairs throughout the years and any other additional need for attention will be addressed as it has been for years, as is the case with all of our campuses.
However, the fact is we still have a structurally sound, fully functional school, and we view it as a valuable asset that should continue to be maintained and well preserved.
Since early September, the SISD board of trustees has met every Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Bond Auditorium. We will continue to meet each Monday at the same time until the November election.
While our primary goal has been to engage our community in discussion, questions and concerns surrounding the bond election which will take place in November for the building of our stadium, it is a perfect opportunity for our community to become part of the process, ask questions and voice concerns or support for the stadium.
All community members are welcome and encouraged to join (and help) us as we continue working to ensure we deliver a product that will represent our district, our kids, our taxpayers and our community well for decades to come.