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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
The bond has passed, and now, Tyler ISD is moving forward with plans to bring students newer and safer classrooms.
The $160.5 million dollar TISD bond passed Saturday night with 63 percent of the vote.
Supporters of the bond have said it's unprecedented because it will affect 8,000 of Tyler ISD's 18,000 students.
It will bring the district three new middle schools, remodel two elementary schools, and build a new career and technical education center for high schoolers.
Superintendent Gary Mooring says the victory is a mandate from the community to improve Tyler's schools.
"That's close to a 2-to-1 margin," Mooring said. "It's just fantastic for the bond to pass period, but with that kind of community support, it really gives us a mandate to move forward with construction."
Mooring says the bond was successful in large part because of the work Tyler Proud, a pro-TISD organization that formed last August, did in the community.
"They're the ones that got the people out to vote, they're the ones that developed the enthusiasm for this bond," said Mooring. "I can't pass a bond and the school board can't pass a bond, it's the community. To me that was the difference."
One of Tyler Proud's biggest concerns during the campaign were the 155 portable buildings being used in TISD - and the safety and security risk they pose to teachers and students.
"When you can address this is one bond and look at at least 60 percent of your portables going away and students being able to be in a safe and secure environment, that means the world to me as an educator," Mooring said. "Because I worry every day about health, safety and security of our students, so this is a big step for Tyler ISD and the community."
Mooring said he also heard the concerns of teachers and community members that opposed the bond, saying the district is constantly working to improve discipline issues.
"We've made a lot of changes and we're looking at some things right now before we even get the bond in place, to help in those discipline areas," he said. "It's just like everything else we do here, we're not setting back and thinking about we can do anything else, this is what we've got to do."
As for next steps, Mr. Mooring says there will be a special board meeting in the new future, where the district will bring forward contracts for architects.
The design and planning phase will last for 6 to 8 months, and the district plans for all new facilities to open in the fall of 2015.