SALADO, Texas — About a year after voters approved a $49.4 million bond for Salado Independent School District, the district formally broke ground on its new middle school.

The campus was the big ticket item on the May 2018 bond ticket. Superintendent Michael Novotny said the district is the fastest growing school on a percentage basis in Region 12 of the Texas education system, which serves all of Central Texas.

According to Novotny, Salado ISD has grown 38% in the past five years.

"It's monumental," Novotny said. "It's a sign of the years of work on this. We have the highest growth rate on a percentage basis in all of Region 12."

The bond also includes upgrades to the elementary school campus to turn it into a Pre K to 5th grade campus while the new middle school would become 6th to 8th grades. Novotny said safety measures like fencing and a security vestibule would be added, as well.

Scheduled to be done by the start of this football season, the bond also led to the installation of a turf field at Eagle Stadium to ease maintenance hours and cost. The baseball and softball fields would also be moved to the high school campus, to eliminate travel risk for players driving to the field.

"People recognize the investment they've made," resident Bobby Whitson said. "And like any of us, when we make an investment, we want to see it grow. To see it grow this soon and to see that our tax dollars are really at work with what we want them to do is very important."

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