EDC of Lea County supports Lea school obligation bond measures
On behalf of the Economic Development Corporation of Lea County’s (EDCLC) Board, I would like to voice our support and encourage Eunice and Hobbs residents to vote ‘for’ the passage of the Eunice Public Schools (EPS) and the Hobbs Municipal Schools (HMS) General Obligation School Bonds on the November 5, 2019 election ballot.
The HMS bond is a $30 million bond package that would allow for the creation of the Hobbs High School Career Technical Education (CTE) center. The CTE would allow for the enhancement and promotion of career and vocational classes, including a focus on energy, construction, culinary arts, STEM, and more, allowing for more opportunities for HMS students. The construction of the center would assist with overcrowding concerns at the high school allowing for a safer, higher quality learning environment for all of the students. In addition, the package would provide funding for the construction of a new Southern Heights Elementary. The original facility, built in 1950, serves over 400 students. With the passage of the bond, to finish the construction of the new elementary and the CTE, HMS will partner with the State of New Mexico, the Permian Strategic Partnership, and other community organizations. For homeowners, with passage of the bond, homeowners would see a $2.75 a month increase on every $100,000 of their home’s value. The increase, at $33.33 annually, is minimal contribution for maximum impact to our Hobbs students.
If passed, the Eunice bond will be utilized to build a new middle school and gymnasium and assist in purchasing new equipment, such as computers and hardware. The original middle school was built in 1936, and the gymnasium was added in 1938. The last renovation to parts of the building was completed in 1968. A new facility is needed for the comfort and safety of our students, teachers and staff. A vote ‘for’ the measure will not raise your taxes. However, it will provide EPS the opportunity to continue to make improvements and provide the highest quality of equipment and facilities for our students.
The rapid growth of the oil and gas and nuclear industries in the Permian Basin, paired with historically low investments in social infrastructure, have led to well-documented gaps in areas like roads, healthcare, and public education. A skilled and qualified workforce is crucial to continued economic vitality and diversification, and that skill and qualification starts with school systems like HMS and EPS.
As oil and gas has risen throughout the region, so has enrollment in both Eunice and Hobbs. With the opportunities of a booming economy comes the challenges of a growing community. As we embrace the opportunities, through the passage of this bond, we will be able to better support and promote our students as they look toward becoming a productive, crucial part of our future workforce. In addition, as the quality of EPS and HMS continues to rise, so does the opportunity for future recruitment and retention of families to the area. We have to be ready for that growth as more families become a proud part of the Cardinal and Eagle families.
Reasons to vote FOR the HMS or EPS Bond on November 5, 2019:
Student success is all of our success: Students, teachers and staff deserve to learn and work in an environment that is safe and comfortable.
The ballot measure outcome likely to have positive business impact: Current and future recruitment and retainment of workers is positively impacted with the presence of a quality school system and facilities
Community need is impacted by industry presence: EPS is overcrowded and needs more capacity to absorb rapidly rising student enrollment.
On October 24, 2019, the EDCLC Board voted to approve a resolution supporting the EPS and HMS General Obligation Bonds. We encourage you to support the bond on Election Day, November 5, 2019. The bonds matter for our students now, our future workforce, and economic vitality and diversification. Thank you for your consideration and your vote ‘for’ the measure.