Cleveland Chamber backing Cleveland ISD’s efforts to pass $125 million bond

At the October board meeting of the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the board voted to approve a Resolution in Support of the $125 million bond proposed for Cleveland ISD in the Nov. 7 election.

The board supports the five major projects included in the bond – a new middle school, new Career and Technology Education building, conversion of Cleveland Middle School to a campus for 9th and 10 grade students, renovations to Southside Elementary and Douglass Learning Academy. It is believed the projects will not only enhance Cleveland ISD but also the greater Cleveland community.

“As the Chamber supports the growth and economic development of the Cleveland area, we believe that our school district is one of the major attractions and considerations for commercial growth,” according to a statement from the Chamber.

In the resolution, the Chamber highlighted that Cleveland ISD is the largest employer in all of Liberty County with 2,234 employees and an annual budget of $164 million. Cleveland ISD is the fastest-growing school district in the state of Texas with a projected student enrollment growth of 119 percent over the next 10 years.

In 2015, Cleveland ISD had 3,825 students. Today, Cleveland ISD currently has roughly 12,000 students with many attending classes in portable buildings that dot the grounds around Cleveland High School, Southside Elementary and Cleveland Middle School. Since 2015, Cleveland ISD has spent around $12 million on portable classrooms, which is roughly half the cost of a permanent elementary campus that costs around $25 million.

Here is a complete breakdown of the proposed $125 million bond with information provided by Cleveland ISD:

  • New middle school – The bulk of the $125 million bond – $94.777 million, will go toward construction of a new middle school. Located on FM 2025 on property already owned and partially developed by Cleveland ISD, this campus will serve 1,600 students in grades 6 through 8. “This project involves an adaptive reuse of Santa Fe Middle School [design] and will include athletic amenities such as track and football fields, along with support facilities, restrooms, concessions, and bleachers for 900 people,” according to Cleveland ISD.
  • New CTE building – Located between Cleveland High School and Cleveland Middle School on the former baseball and softball fields, the new CTE building will allow an expansion of career and technical education courses and free up space within Cleveland High School for the conversion of current CTE classrooms to traditional classrooms. It is projected to cost $22.886 million and is the second-most expensive project to be funded by the bond. One of the new programs that Cleveland ISD hopes to add to the CTE program is auto mechanics. “The recently completed Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, and Information Technology programs will be retained. Other programs to be relocated and expanded include Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources; Veterinary Sciences; Construction; Health Science; Law & Forensics; Manufacturing (welding); and Automotive. The campus will also feature staff offices, restrooms, a vending area, collaboration space, material storage yard, parking, and special equipment and technology. The estimated capacity of the new building will be 250 students, and there will be a Kitchen/Café in the existing building,” according to Cleveland ISD. The CTE courses prepare students to enter the workforce upon the completion of high school, which is important for those not considering college or university courses.
  • Conversion of Cleveland Middle School to a campus for 9th and 10th grade students – Coming in at a cost of $1.636 million, the conversion of Cleveland Middle School will include infrastructure improvements to address intrusion, public address systems and access control requirements within the main campus and the portable buildings that surround it. New signage will be added, as will new sidewalks, restriping of the existing parking lot and renovating space for storage.
  • Renovations to Southside Elementary – The District plans to spend $4.6 million to address mechanical, electrical and plumbing needs on both the main campus and the portable buildings. Some flooring and ceiling tiles will be replaced where needed. The roof will also be replaced on the main campus. Other improvements are fresh paint throughout the campus, replacement of old HVAC systems and plumbing fixtures in the pre-kindergarten classrooms. Aluminum canopies will be erected between exterior buildings to improve the safety and welfare of students and staff.
  • Douglass Learning Academy – The District will use $587,977 from the bond to make much-needed maintenance upgrades. The old lighting system will be upgraded to an LED system, which should help save energy costs in the long-term, McCanless said. “The campus houses several portables that will also need to be retrofitted for safety and security,” according to the District.

The last day of early voting for the Nov. 7 election is Friday, Nov. 3. There are five early voting locations – Cleveland Civic Center, 210 Peach Ave., Cleveland; The Sanctuary Pentecostal Church, 100 E. Hanson St., Cleveland; Hardin City Hall, 142 CR 2010, Hardin; Dayton Community Center, 801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton; and Jack Hartel Community Building, 318 San Jacinto St., Liberty. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Election Day, Nov. 7, there will be 14 polling locations, open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are as follows:

  • Cleveland Civic Center (Curbside voting available)
    210 Peach Ave., Cleveland, Texas 77327
  • The Sanctuary Pentecostal Church (Curbside voting available)
    100 E. Hanson St., Cleveland, Texas 77327
  • Plum Grove City Hall
    9485 Plum Grove Road, Cleveland, Texas 77327
  • Sante Fe Admin & Activities Building
    1680 C.R. 3549, Cleveland, Texas 77327
  • Hi-Way Tabernacle
    108 C.R. 2250, Tarkington, Texas 77327
  • Dayton Community Center (Curbside voting available)
    801 S. Cleveland St., Dayton, Texas 77535
  • New Life
    3056 F.M. 1008, Kenefick, Texas 77535
  • St. Anne’s Catholic Church Hall
    C.R. 622 & F.M. 686, Eastgate (Dayton), Texas 77535
  • Pathways Church
    9160 F.M. 1409, Dayton, Texas 77535
  • Jack Hartel Admin. Building (Curbside voting available)
    318 San Jacinto St., Liberty, Texas 77575
  • Dolen Baptist Church Gym
    10078 F.M. 787, Dolen, Texas 77327
  • Hardin City Hall (Curbside voting available)
    142 C.R. 2010, Hardin, Texas 77561
  • Hull-Daisetta High School
    117 N. Main St., Daisetta, Texas 77533
  • Devers Elementary School
    201 Chism St., Devers, Texas 77538
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. Cleveland ISD claims that it is somehow detrimental for the school kids to have to learn in portable buildings.” Portable buildings” is just another word for Mobil Homes which many of us have lived in at one time or another and many of us still do.
    If Mobil Homes are good enough for us to live in, then they are certainly good enough for these school kids to spend a few hours in to learn.

    Vote No

    • GW I agree with you. Look at the difference in the old school buildings and the new ones. Spending lots of money making them look like a kings palace instead of a school building.

  2. Agreed- Vote no. Us taxpayers are burdened enough with the influx of illegals into the community. This is just another one of the “subsidies” without actually calling it a subsidy. I went to school in portable buildings and turned out fine.

  3. All these illegals who make up probably 80% of Cleveland ISD already pay a disproportionately lower amount of school tax per child than the rest of us, since they have 3 times as many kids per conventional property on which the taxes are collected. Why the hell should us law abiding citizens have to pick up the tab?

    Hell no!

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