New group speaks out against TISD bond proposal

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - Steve Kueck helped form the first, "Vote Yes" committee nearly 10 years ago. He's a, self-proclaimed, fan of the Tyler Independent School District--at least, he used to be.

"Why do you give somebody $25 million, when they can't tell you what they're going to do with it," he said.

Steve and several other residents in the Rice Elementary neighborhood formed the "Why Relocate Rice Committee" earlier this week.

The group was formed in opposition to the current TISD bond proposal.

Kueck said he was blind sided by the news that $25.6 million of the bond package would be used to completely relocate the Rice Elementary Campus.

The district says 1.7 million dollars would be used to either buy new land for a new school, or relocate students should a new school be built on the current Rice Elementary property.

Officials with the district met with KLTV, Wednesday afternoon. During the meeting, Superintendent Randy Reid opened up about some of the logistics involved with keeping the school in its current location.

The district would have to have to use two of the campuses that were recently vacated thanks to the previous bond. The students would be split into two groups due to the number students that attend Rice.

Ron Vickery, board president, said the proposal has been presented dozens of times during community meetings. An online survey is also being conducted. Meanwhile, the search for the potential new Rice Elementary site has already started.

"You'd like an elementary school campus to be 15 acres, so we have looked at options," said Vickery. Ideally, the new school would be built to accommodate 1,000 students.

Melinda Allen lives down the street from Rice. Two of her kids attended the school and she thinks it's time for a new one.  She said she'd prefer a new school to go in the neighborhood, but she said it isn't a necessity.

"I don't think the answer is [voting] 'no' just because that's really unsure," she said.

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