Medina Valley ISD back to drawing board after voters reject bonds amid unprecedented growth

Bond for new high school, middle and elementary school would have added $57 a year in property taxes

SAN ANTONIO – Medina Valley ISD is headed back to the drawing board after voters rejected two proposed bonds worth nearly $400 million to build new schools and a stadium.

District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach released a statement to KSAT that read in part:

“With the unprecedented growth in MVISD, additional campuses will be needed in the near future, including a second high school. Recent trends have shown it is a challenging time for school bond proposals state-wide. With this result, voters have asked the district to go back to the drawing board, which is what we will do prior to going back to voters with another bond package.”

Rohrbach added that the current district enrollment is slightly over 7,000 students, and in 10 years, enrollment at MVISD is forecast to be close to 17,000 students.

“This growth will necessitate the construction of new campuses. The district is working to accommodate students in the short term, but additional campuses will be needed to accommodate long-term growth,” Rohrbach said in the statement.

“The people made a statement with not voting for it. I think something is definitely needed,” said Jennifer Marty, Castroville resident.

Jennifer and her sister-in-law, Kathy Marty, were born and raised in Castroville. They have seen a population boom in the area firsthand.

“Growing up in Castroville was a lot different than it is today,” said Kathy Marty. “The traffic is horrendous. You used to be able to go across town in 10 minutes.”

“We’ve seen a lot of traffic come through, which our town can’t really handle right now,” said Jennifer Marty.

Along with the traffic, more homes are being built in the community, leading to an influx in students in district schools. This year alone, the district added almost 800 students.

“My children both graduated from Medina Valley, and their classes were 300-plus,” said Kathy Marty.

“I have a child in the school district, and the growth is incredible, even when I take them to school or pick them up, just seeing all the cars, all the people,” said Jennifer Marty.

But despite that growth, voters on Saturday soundly rejected the two proposed bonds. A total of $383.2 million was earmarked for a new high school, middle school and elementary school in Proposition A.

Proposition B earmarked $14 million for a new stadium to go along with the proposed high school. If it had passed, the bond would have added an average of nearly $57 a year to property taxes.

“I don’t think the issue is that we need it. Maybe how it’s spent and how much is spent is the problem,” said Jennifer Marty.

While the area continues to see a population boom, the district will have to wait before it expands any further.

“My fear is for the kids. Is there going to be classrooms available for all the growth that’s coming in?” questioned Kathy Marty.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.