The Alice community gave the school district a huge vote of confidence Saturday.

That’s how Alice ISD administrators and school board members are treating the overwhelming support the district’s $20,790,000 bond received in Saturday’s election.

Alice voters were in favor of the bond, passing the proposition by a wide margin. The unofficial total provided by the Jim Wells County Elections Administration had 1,498 votes for the bond to 540 against it.

Alice school board president Ben Salinas said the support the proposition received shows that the community believes in the direction that the school district is headed.

“I think first and foremost, we want to thank the voters of Alice ISD for the support,” Salinas said. “Whenever a bond passes by this big of a margin, it’s more rewarding, because it shows that the community has confidence in the district. I give a lot of credit to Dr. (Carl) Scarbrough and his staff. The fact that they were accessible at different times, places and for different organizations; they were able to spread the facts and that was key to it being successful.”

Salinas said the bond will allow the school district to greatly improve the overall operation of Alice schools.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the district on several fronts,” Salinas said. “It addresses school safety, because the end result is all of our students are in indoor schools and in modern facilities, which is a recommendation for safety measures. It addresses the need to align schools like other districts in our area, and it addresses the consistent decline in enrollment we’ve seen here through the years.”

Passing the bond means that Schallert, Saenz, Noonan and Dubose campuses are being expanded to hold students from pre-k through fifth grade. William Adams Middle School will house students from sixth through eighth grade and Alice High School will continue to have students in grades ninth through 12th. Passing the bond would also mean the closure of Memorial Intermediate, Salazar Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary. Dubose Intermediate will be repurposed into an elementary campus.

Alice superintendent Dr. Carl Scarbrough, who headed up some 35 informational meetings about the bond leading up the election, said the bond enables the district to be aligned with other districts and to secure the district’s future.

“I’m very thankful to the community of Alice for supporting not just the bond, but the school district and our kids,” Scarbrough said. “I really feel that this is going to help put us in a better position for years to come.”

The district will begin selling the bonds this June and then begin seeking competitive sealed bids for the improvements to the district’s campuses. Scarbrough said the district’s plan is to complete the campus realignment from nine to six campuses by Aug. 2021. He said the year leading up to the target date would include planning everything from notifying students and parents of the campus changes to adjusting bus routes and working with the City of Alice to study traffic flows around the schools.