A $124.9 million bond proposal to expand and update Temple College facilities was approved by voters Saturday.
The proposal was approved by 1,481 votes — 55 percent — of the 2,700 votes cast in the election.
The number of opposition votes totaled 1,219, with most of those cast on Election Day. Opposition voters cast 564 votes on Saturday as opposed to 457 for the proposal. Most of the early voters (1,024) favored the measure.
The proposal would call for a major expansion of the school’s Health Sciences Center to address a shortage of health care workers as well as providing updates to several college buildings that are 50 to 60 years old.
“If approved, the new facilities could be completed by 2026 when Temple College will be celebrating its 100th anniversary,” TC President Christy Ponce said. “These campus advancements would represent an important milestone in Temple College’s history of being trusted for generations and building for the future.”
She said the bond proposal would aid Temple College in several ways:
• Improve college facilities with new technology and tools since many lack modern upgrades and have mechanical and electrical systems that will need to be replaced soon.
• Increase capacity of its health care training programs, including doubling the size of its nursing program as the school works to address worker shortages in Central Texas.
• Expand education offerings through a University Center that allows TC students to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus through its university partners.
• Fund a Workforce Training Center to serve as an economic driver by providing career and technology and workforce training for high-demand, high-wage career opportunities.
• Improve campus safety with better lighting and long-term growth parking.
“Temple College helps create a skilled workforce that attracts new business to the area, with a positive economic impact of millions of dollars to our community,” Ponce said.
The bond issue has been endorsed by the Temple Chamber of Commerce.
School bond issues
Three school districts in the area — Rogers ISD, Jarrell ISD and Academy ISD — considered proposed bonds to expand their campuses.
Rogers ISD voters considered four bond propositions as well as two open seats between incumbent Keith Caldwell and challengers Joe Jarolik, Moody Glasgow, Robert Stephens and Bradley Marek.
Caldwell won reelection with 214 votes and Marek was elected to the board with 242 votes.
Jarolik received 191 votes, Glasglow received 119 votes and Stephens received 76 votes.
Only one of the four bond propositions — Proposition A for $2.3 million for school facility improvements — was approved.
That measure won with 314 for and 168 against.
Failed measures were for $1.9 million for a new auxiliary gym, $1.5 million for a new early childhood educational facility and $100,000 for a softball locker.
Proposition B, a $1.9 million proposal, was defeated with 300 votes against and 180 for.
Proposition C, a $1.5 million proposal, was defeated with 280 votes against and 204 for.
Proposition D, a $100,000 proposal, was defeated with 246 votes against and 237 for.
“It’s disappointing but voters speak with their votes,” Rogers ISD Superintendent Joe Craig said Saturday.
Jarrell ISD voters supported a $113.3 million bond election that includes a new elementary school and expansion of the middle and high school campuses. Both propositions were approved.
The north Williamson County city is booming as there are plans to build 7,000 new homes by 2023, the Jarrell Economic Development Corp. said.
Proposition A, totaling $111.6 million, calls for a new elementary school, middle school and high school expansion, technology infrastructure upgrades, security and safety improvements, new buses, expansion of the district transportation facility, land for future campuses, athletic facilities improvement and renovations to preserve the district’s 1916 historic building for a future use.
The first measure won with 74 percent of the votes: 923 for, 331 against.
Proposition B, totaling $1.7 million, would allow for the expansion and improvements to the district stadium, including 995 new visitor seats, new restrooms, sidewalks and improvements for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.
That proposition won with 65 percent of the votes: 814 for, 435 against.
Voters in Academy ISD on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a $79 million bond proposal to relieve campus congestion as the district has grown over previous years.
The measure passed with 68 percent of the vote — 373 votes for and 175 against.
District personnel are proposing a new high school campus as a solution in the bond proposal, which would also fund the purchase of school sites and buses.
Student enrollment at the school is expected to reach about 2,300 by the 2024-25 school year.
Superintendent Billy Harlan said the district has a lot of work to do.
“Congratulations to the AISD school community,” he said.
Two open seats on the Academy ISD school board were also decided.
Incumbents Jennifer Burnett and Dana White both easily won reelection against challenger Keith White in the three-candidate race for the two seats.
Burnett received 36 percent of the vote (351 votes) while Dana White received 40 percent (388 votes), according to unofficial election results. Keith White received about 23 percent, or 226 votes.
Voters in Rogers reelected incumbent mayor Billy Ray Crow as he faced a challenge by Ernest Stroud.
Crow won with 80 votes — about 58 percent — to Stroud’s 56 votes, or 41 percent, according to unofficial results from the city secretary.
Tammy Cockrum and Samantha Bell were unopposed in their reelection bids to the Rogers City Council.
Troy voters elected Michael Morgan, who was unopposed, as mayor Saturday.
Troy voters are able to vote for two at-large City Council seats, between incumbents Paul Ramirez and Jason Sheffler and challenger Vance Camp.
Ramirez and Camp won Council seats, according to unofficial results.
Ramirez received 44 percent of the vote (37 votes); Camp received 40 percent (34 votes), and Sheffler received about 14 percent (12 votes).
Rockdale voters elected Scott Starnes as the East Ward member of the Rockdale City Council.
Starnes won with 65 percent of the vote (54 votes) to Richard Coppedge’s 35 percent (29 votes), according to unofficial results from the Rockdale city secretary.
Morgan’s Point Resort voters elected a new mayor.
Dennis Green won the mayor’s race with 196 votes to incumbent Dwayne Gossett’s 73 votes and Andrew Bill’s 44 votes.
Donna Hartman, Bruce Leonhardt, Ronny Snow, Robbie Johnson and Shawn Knuckles were elected to the City Council. Hartman received 248 votes, Snow received 222 votes, Johnson received 202 votes, Leonhardt received 188 votes and Knuckles received 137 votes. Larry Gossett received 118 votes.