Cleburne ISD receives bond update

October 1808:10 AM

Progress on the new Cleburne High School started out slow, but Balfour Beatty Construction Co. Senior Project Manager Jeremy Blevins told the Cleburne ISD board of trustees that once they start building the actual structure of the building the project will take off. Blevins gave trustees an update on the project during Monday night’s board meeting. view article arw

Socorro Independent School District voters start heading to the polls in a little over a week to say yes or no to a $448.5 million bond proposition. The election is Nov. 7. Early voting starts on Oct. 23 and it ends Nov. 3. The district’s school trustees voted 7-0 to call the bond election in mid-August, following EPISD’s successful $669 million bond election last year and YISD’s $430 million bond in 2015. view article arw

In May Stevensville voters will decide whether to approve two bonds for both the high school and elementary school. The 20-year bonds would total $22.6 million and would pay for deferred maintenance, renovations to buildings and grounds, safety, sanitation, building access and parking. The high school bond would be for $13.3 million. The elementary school bond would be $9.3 million. view article arw

Gilmer ISD officials are considering a $300,000 offer from the East Texas Yamboree Association for two tracts of land and several outbuildings — but not before proposing that Yamboree officials co-fund a community splash pad as part of the deal. School board members unanimously voted Monday night to make a counteroffer to the Yamboree, which would have both entities contributing $50,000 for a splash pad to be built within the city in addition to the $300,000 proposed for the land and buildings. view article arw

A $41 million performing arts and STEM high school will open in Fort Worth ISD next year. The campus will include a mix of new construction and the renovation of a historic campus, the former I.M. Terrell Elementary. More than $41 million from a 2013 bond election is taking shape with the new performing arts and STEM campus just east of downtown Fort Worth. view article arw

The new Belton ISD high school was given a name and a mascot during Monday night's school board meeting, a district spokesperson confirmed to Channel 6 News. The school will be called Lake Belton High School, its mascot will be the Broncos, and the colors will be red and silver, the spokesperson said.  view article arw

On Aug. 17 the Victoria ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of calling for a school bond election to be held Nov. 7 with early voting to begin Oct. 23. We have delivered several bond presentations since that time and are extremely grateful to all of our community members for your attendance and exceptional dialogue during these presentations. The bond identifies $141.2 million of current needs to our school district and addresses 30 projects that will improve facilities, enhance safety and security, update technology and communication infrastructures, increase community engagement and maximize student learning opportunities. view article arw

When Red Bluff Elementary School opened in 1954, Pasadena was changing from a rural community to a city bustling with residential growth. With 26 classrooms and a construction cost of $530,000, the campus at 416 Bearle Street was considered an example of a modern school. But despite additions and renovations in 1992 and 2001, the school is showing its age. Red Bluff, which has an enrollment averaging between 550 and 600, relies on portable classrooms added in 1957. view article arw

More than $2 billion in school bonds are up for vote across Greater Houston in early November, giving residents in six districts the option to authorize money for dozens of new campuses and hundreds of upgrades. But district leaders worry that Hurricane Harvey will hamper their ability to leverage bonds as the property values that finance them will be significantly reduced by storm damage. view article arw

The Stephenville ISD Facility Planning Committee has been meeting for months to narrow down improvement projects for Stephenville High School, Henderson Junior High, Gilbert Intermediate and Hook Elementary. If the committee and the SISD board of trustees approve the projects, a bond election could be held next May. The E-T sat down with SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood to discuss the process. view article arw

Wylie ISD has been growing at a pace of 200 students annually. "We currently are the 17th fastest growing school district in the state of Texas," commented Wylie Superintendent Joey Light.   But because there are so many students coming in, the school must expand. "It's a challenge but a great challenge, and our staff really embraces that," Mr. Light continued.  view article arw

Laredo Independent School District's Veterans Field project now has a price tag of $6.4 million, and the search for additional funding continues. An estimated preliminary cost of $5.98 million was approved by LISD trustees for the project. The district had $4.25 million of available funds as of September and were in need of an additional $1.7 million to complete the project. During the LISD school board's recent business and support services committee meeting, trustees were still not presented with a guaranteed maximum price. However, they did receive possible options for additional funding. Trustee Cecilia Moreno pointed out $729,000 in available construction funds. Moreno inquired why part of the funds had not been appropriated to a project that lacked money, like the Veterans Field. view article arw

A groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new Valley View Middle/Mission Valley Elementary Combination School took place Tuesday to commemorate the beginning of construction of the new state-of-the-art facility. The $87 million campus is part of the $430.5 million YISD 2015 Bond program. According to YISD's Superintendent Xavier De La Torre, Mission Valley Elementary is one of the district's most urgent projects. He says it's the school in the worst condition. view article arw

There is a little more clarity now as to the plan for middle schools in Little Elm ISD. During a special meeting Monday, the LEISD Board of Trustees approved a non-binding agreement with Tribute Partners to possibly purchase 25.4 acres of land along the north line of Lebanon Road and west of Ventana Drive in The Colony. The land is expected to be used for a second middle school in the district at a cost of $66.7 million. The district’s plan has been to construct a second middle school, but the location had been unknown. view article arw

Conroe ISD’s new intermediate school was officially named during the Sept. 19 school board meeting after former educator Katherine Johnson Clark. The new school in the Oak Ridge High School feeder zone is set to open in August 2018. Clark, who retired from CISD after a 26-year career, still serves the district as a part-time substitute teacher. view article arw

Austin Independent School District wants to raise $1 billion to spend on facilities, safety and technology improvements. In the past, voters have been supportive of school bonds. But a few bonds have been rejected over the years, and a group that's played a role in those defeats has set its sights on this one, too. Supporters of the bond have been pushing a few key points in an effort to win votes in November. One is that each and every school gets some of this money.  view article arw

Navasota ISD Superintendent Dr. Stu Musick joined First News at Four on Monday to discuss the upcoming bond election for the school district. view article arw

Even now, they call him “the great dissenter.”More than 100 years after the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court case, which legalized racial discrimination in public accomodations for more than 50 years, the only justice who dissented was celebrated Wednesday at the dedication of a new San Antonio campus. view article arw

An unlikely alliance has formed to oppose the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure in November. The Save East Austin Schools political action committee, which says the bond proposal will worsen segregation and do little for the district’s neediest students, says one of the group’s stronger allies is the Travis County Taxpayers Union, led by former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman, a staunch conservative. Their reasons for opposing the measure couldn’t be more different. view article arw

Ector County Independent School District needs and some new ideas for the proposed $291,172,291 bond and tax rate election were hashed out by a small group of Odessans, now called Ector County Kids Can’t Wait, which had its first meeting Wednesday at Starbucks, 5011 E. 42nd St. Some of those who attended were on the ECISD Bond Advisory Committee and others wanted to gather facts. view article arw

The Humble ISD board of trustees convened Oct. 10 to approve agenda items including this year’s tax rate. Officials also gave updates on Kingwood High School and Humble Middle School. view article arw

Highland Park ISD students may soon get to check out a book from the Tom Price Library or exercise at Clayton Kershaw Gymnasium.  At its regular board meeting Tuesday, the district's Board of Trustees approved a long list of facilities eligible for naming rights. Elementary school playgrounds, the middle school's auditorium and the high school's locker rooms are among dozens of facilities for which the Highland Park Education Foundation could approve names under the plan.  view article arw

Under a cool, clear blue sky, Willis ISD board members joined Superintendent Tim Harkrider in shoveling dirt Wednesday in celebration of the realization of a community vision. School officials laughed and spoke loudly over the construction sounds of steel beams being erected behind them for the long-awaited $39.4 million Career and Technology Education Center. The 112,950-square-foot project is one of nine passed by WISD voters in the $109.5 million bond package in 2015. Harkrider arrived at Willis ISD in 2013 and recalled nearly two years of meetings, drawings and more for the first bond passed under his leadership with the CTE project. view article arw

A concerned community member has organized an effort to try and help Ector County Independent School District’s $291 million bond and tax ratification election pass in November. Called Kids Can’t Wait, Chris Stanley, a University of Texas of the Permian Basin art professor, is heading it and the first meeting is scheduled for about noon Wednesday at the Starbucks at 5011 E. 42nd St. Stanley was a member of the district’s Bond Advisory Committee, which made recommendations to the ECISD board of trustees on what should be included in the bond. view article arw

Bastrop school district voters next month will decide an $88.5 million bond called to pay for upgrades to district facilities, reorganization of schools and boosting capacity at the growing district. The election comes a year after voters rejected a similar $75 million bond measure with 54 percent of voters coming out against the proposal. Voters also rejected a 13-cent tax ratification that would have helped fund day-to-day operations at the district. That tax proposal failed with 64 percent of voters voting against it. view article arw

Austin ISD’s proposed $1.05 billion bond aims to deliver 21st-century learning spaces to campuses across the district. In preparation of the bond’s approval, the board of trustees deliberated about a bond construction delivery plan in order to deliver the proposed bond projects in the most effective and efficient way. AISD Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Johnson said the Texas Local Government Code requires the board consider a construction contract method other than competitive bidding before advertising solicitations for proposals. view article arw

Coahoma ISD will host the first of three public meetings beginning today over the upcoming $4 million bond election set for Nov. 7. “We encourage everyone who is interested in this upcoming election to attend one of our public meetings to hear all the facts about how we intend to use the money from this proposed bond and what the financial impact on property owners will be,” said Superintendent Dr. Amy Jacobs. view article arw

Gainesville students now have a place for indoor activities and practices with the addition of a $4.9 million multipurpose facility. It was all done without borrowing any money from taxpayers. "I walked in and I was like wow this is like the Cowboys stadium when you walk in," student Hayli Stephens said. Gainesville ISD now has a new 50,000-square-foot indoor practice field right on the high school campus.There's also a 5,000-square-foot weight room, new coaches offices, locker rooms, a film room and more. view article arw

Bond, tax vote on horizon

October 1108:25 AM

The Lake Travis school district’s proposed $253 million bond, up for approval or disapproval by the voters on Nov. 7, won’t raise the tax rate for voters, nor will the Tax Ratification Election. But voters’ taxes are still likely to go up due to increasing property values. Projected taxable property values for the 2017-2018 budget year are about $10.6 billion, compared to about $9.7 billion during the 2016-2017 budget year. The proposed bond will pay for the district’s third middle school at a cost of roughly $76.2 million as well as the district’s seventh elementary school for approximately $33.1 million. view article arw

The Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced their support of Leander ISD’s $454.4 million bond package in a statement released by the chamber on Sept. 29. The statement said the board supported the bond due to five criteria: view article arw

The Killeen Independent School District Board of Trustees spent more than an hour Tuesday discussing a timeline for the district’s school construction plan, including considerable debate about when a bond election might take place — either November 2018, or May 2019. KISD Superintendent John Craft supported chief financial officer Megan Bradley’s presentation, stating the district has sufficient funds in its strategic facility budget to cover the construction of the proposed elementary school, slated to open for the 2019-2020 school year. The estimated construction cost runs in excess of $37 million. view article arw

On Monday night Austin ISD trustees discussed making a few policy amendments in an effort to improve the construction program and address some of the frustrations that some of the district’s vendors are experiencing. As the district prepares for a potential bond season, amendments to these policies could help streamline the construction process, board members said. AISD Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Johnson said the provisions include delegating emergency purchases to the superintendent and enhancing the employee conflict of interest provisions. view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD schools are getting some renovations to make them safer and more secure. The upgrades are being funded by a $59.5 million school bond voters passed two years ago. The renovations include putting a secured entrance at the door where with just a flip of a switch the doors lock and open. view article arw

A group of about 20 community leaders gathered outside LBJ High School Tuesday afternoon to voice their opposition to the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure. Some in the group have very different political views than others, but said they are unified in their desire to defeat the bond package that will go before Austin voters next month. view article arw

The S&S Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to call for a $20.5 million bond election to fund a new middle school campus. The new campus would serve fifth through eighth grade and would be built on District-owned property in Sadler.  The current middle school was first constructed in 1939 with an addition in 1955 and another addition in the 1960′s. S&S Superintendent Roger Reed said the school board decided it was time to call for an election to determine whether or not a new middle school is needed. view article arw