Q&A with Graford ISD Superintendent, Brandon Perry on upcoming Bond Election

Story by Michelle Ince

On Nov. 7, voters in the Graford Independent School District will have the opportunity to vote on an $85,250,000 bond package.

The school district’s superintendent, Brandon Perry, recently sat down to provide some information about the upcoming bond election. Here are the topics he addressed in his interview.

Why do we need a bond in the first place?

Graford ISD is beginning to see growth, as the school district grew by 6 percent from the 2022-2023 school year to the 2023-2024 school year. Based on the demographics study that was conducted by Templeton Demographics, Graford is expected to grow between 2.5 percent to 3 percent over the next decade, adding an additional 100 students.

It’s important to note that the growth projections were based on available water. Templeton emphasized that if a regional water solution is found in the near future, our growth would likely be close to 10 percent each year.

We currently are using all available classrooms and have five teachers teaching in portable buildings.

In addition to growth, Graford ISD needs to begin planning to replace and update some of the oldest parts of our campus. Parts of our campus were constructed in the 1930s – and, as one can imagine, a nearly 100-year-old building comes with a higher cost to maintain.

With the addition of a new secondary campus (sixth grade through 12th grade) and renovations to our current campus, which will house our elementary students (prekindergarten through fifth grade), we will expand our student capacity to around 600. The addition of a new secondary campus will also allow GISD to expand its Career Technology Education offerings to possibly include HVAC, plumbing and health science. In addition to expanded CTE programs, the new secondary campus will contain space for fine arts, which will allow Graford to begin offering choir and music (band).

Graford tried passing a bond earlier, and it failed. Why do you feel that it could pass this time?

Based on what I’ve heard since being in Graford, the 2019 bond likely failed due to the lack of a clear plan for our existing campus. The facility committee has recommended that our existing campus be renovated to house our elementary students (prekindergarten through fifth grade).

Many people on social media have had issues with the price tag. Please explain where that number comes from.

The facility planning committee comprised about 50 students, staff, parents, pastors, community members and business owners, and its members were tasked with identifying the needs within the district. They then prioritized those needs into the items contained in the November bond recommendation. The accompanying chart outlines the cost breakdown for each item in the bond call.

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For more information, visit grafordisdbond.com or send an email to Perry at [email protected].