Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

The U.S. public education system is our best defense against inequality and our best weapon in creating a stronger nation.  Voters should approve Dickinson’s bond package, knowing it’s an investment in their community and democracy. view article arw

ABILENE, TX — The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees could vote to approve around $1.1 million to pay for new playgrounds for 13 elementary schools at their board meeting next Monday.  Playgrounds are a crucial part of a child's school day. They're where they make their first friends, get creative and use their imagination.   “You get to learn about their families and what they did over the weekend, and what they are interested in, and it's just a good time to get to know them as people," said Lee Elementary principal Melissa Scott.  The playground at Lee Elementary is well over a decade old, and most of the playground equipment is hand me down. view article arw

It is being called Elementary No. 5, but in the coming months, Cleveland ISD’s board of trustees will pick a name for a new campus that officially broke ground on Monday, Sept. 28. The new campus is located in Grand San Jacinto Subdivision, one of the Colony Ridge subdivisions south of Plum Grove in far southwest Liberty County. view article arw

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AAA' rating based on the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) guaranty and a 'AA+' underlying rating to the following Northside Independent School District (ISD), TX unlimited tax (ULT) bonds: view article arw

There is a bond proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot to support students and teachers in the Carthage Independent School District. Unlike many bond proposals, this one will not have any effect on the tax rate and will not result in an increase in taxes. This proposal allows our school district to keep funds that would otherwise be sent to the State of Texas for redistribution to school districts with lower tax bases. Your vote for this bond proposal keeps our money at home! view article arw

Despite challenges created by the pandemic, Eanes ISD completed 50 capital improvement projects ahead of the 2020-21 school year, according to a presentation at the Sept. 22 board meeting. Chief Operations Officer Jeremy Trimble said 2020 marked the district’s busiest summer to date for bond projects, which totaled about $35 million. Funds were approved by more than 80% of voters in the $80 million 2019 bond vote. view article arw

Hardin-Jefferson ISD is asking voters for a $25 million bond after delaying the two-part request due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The district plans to use the funds along with federal disaster relief dollars to make long-needed repairs valued at $69 million.  “H-JISD is in a unique situation that may never occur again with the amount of (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funding that we are receiving,” Hardin-Jefferson ISD Communications Director Mandy Fortenberry told The Enterprise in February, when the board originally voted to put the measure on the May ballot. “In combination with the $25 million from our community and the FEMA funding, we will be able to build just under $70 million in projects.”Community members appear split over the propositions, with some taking to social media to say families can not afford to contribute to a bond given current economic hardships. view article arw

WESLACO — Trustees at Weslaco ISD considered a proposal to spend upwards of $1.8 million, and potentially more than $3 million, on air disinfection units for the district’s HVAC systems at their Sept. 14 meeting.  The board considered rough estimates for the purchase and installation of two types of systems: bipolar ionization units with an estimated price tag of $1.8 million to $2.2 million and ultraviolet-C lighting units costing between $2.6 and $3 million. view article arw

While students were away from campus for an extended period this spring and summer, construction crews continued work on facility improvements throughout Round Rock ISD. Melanie Camarena, director of construction at RRISD, provided an update on the status of a number of 2018 bond projects to the board of trustees on Sept. 24. RRISD voters approved a $508.4 million bond in November 2018. view article arw

BOWIE, Texas (TNN) - No more holes in classrooms, a brand new football field and a new gym floor make the Bowie High School from June unrecognizable.  “You know that first morning after the tornado, to come into the gym with the water and see it buckle,” Superintendent Blake Enlow said, “it was very very disheartening.”  It’s taken nearly $2 million of the $6 million budget so far to repair Bowie ISD and get it nearly ready for fall sports. view article arw

SAN ANTONIO - Northside ISD has decided to delay the vote in naming its new high school to a later date.  The board said it is not naming the two finalists, but it did acknowledge an overwhelming favorite nominated by students.  The trustees who voted to table the high school's naming said they wanted to do so 'out of respect' for the recent passing of a justice.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg died over the weekend. view article arw

Joe’s Commentary: The Bottom 10

September 2309:00 AM

Yesterday, I shared the 10 largest bond referendums in dollar value going before voters, on November 3rd. The largest one is Dallas ISD with a bond of almost $4 billion, the smallest is $2.4 billion in Oakwood ISD.  read more arw

During Monday’s regular meeting, the Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees made a 4-3 decision to start the turfing process for all softball fields and the infield of the baseball fields, along with a five-yard buffer, at each of the district’s four high schools.This move came after the board made a 4-3 decision delaying the turfing a year ago.  Board Vice President David Nance and board members Doyle Corder, Alonzo Everhart and Dick Ford voted in favor of the motion to approve the purchase and installation of synthetic turf. Board President Robin Malone and board members Kimberly Anderson and Kayla Mendez were opposed.  According to the agenda item, the board chose Hellas Construction to be the vendor, with the estimated cost being more than $3 million. view article arw

As coronavirus lockdowns begin to ease and the U.S. economy continues to limp, Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is proposing $3.7 billion worth of tax increase-bonds to pay for school buildings, technology equipment, stadiums, a performing arts facility, and natatoriums. The DISD Board of Trustees passed the series of proposals in an 8-0 vote in August. It is the most costly bond proposal in the Lone Star State’s history.  The package is divided into five propositions, placed by the district on the ballot to, in part, address “racial equity” concerns. view article arw

A new McKinney ISD elementary school could be ready to welcome students as early as fall 2023.  The MISD board of trustees approved a request for qualifications for architectural services for the elementary school at its Sept. 22 meeting.  Current demographic projections indicate the district will need a new elementary school at the start of the fall 2023 school year, according to district documents. The 2016 bond election included $700,000 for the design and preparation of construction documents for the new school, per district documents. view article arw

The Georgetown ISD board of trustees approved the purchase a 35-acre tract of land for a future career and technical education, or CTE, facility during a Sept. 21 meeting.  The approval from the board authorizes Superintendent Fred Brent to negotiate and execute a contract to purchase the land located near the center of the district. The exact location will not be released until purchases are final, officials said.   GISD’s Career and Technical Education Department mission is to prepare students for post-secondary education, vocational, trade school or the workforce while providing state-of-the-art instruction and practical lab experience, according to the district’s website. The CTE building would be used by all students, officials said. view article arw

Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt has a message for voters as the Nov. 3 school bond referendum nears.  Kuhrt wants to clear up confusion about how the proposed $290 million bond issue to build two high schools would affect school property taxes for certain residents.   "If you are over 65, your taxes have been frozen on your homestead, and therefore this bond issue will not increase your taxes," Kuhrt said during a meeting Monday evening.  view article arw

A new Austin Independent School District campus, built specifically for students with severe special needs, broke ground on Friday. Families of students who will eventually attend the new Rosedale School showed their support with a safe, drive-by parade. view article arw

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'AA-' ratings on the following Harlandale Independent School District, Texas obligations: view article arw

LIBERTY HILL, Texas, Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Santa Rita Ranch developers Elizabeth and Ed Horne, along with approximately 75 teachers and staff, helped mark the opening of the master-planned community's first on-site public elementary school with a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 25.  As part of the Liberty Hill ISD, Santa Rita Elementary will house 800 students on a 105,786-square-foot campus located on Santa Rita Boulevard across the street from The Hub at The Green. Classes began just two days after the ribbon was cut. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi ISD Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez is making his case to voters on the $136.2-million-dollar school bond package set to be decided this November. view article arw

BEAUMONT — Beaumont ISD is preparing for students to return to face-to-face learning on Monday, Sept. 21.  Superintendent Dr. Shannon Allen says the district will phase in students, starting with special needs children.  The district has put in place a number of safety measures to help protect students and staff.  Dr. Allen says the plans in place are a result of hard work the district has put in to keep students safe. view article arw

Bryan residents have less than a month before early voting begins for the district’s $175 million proposed bond. If approved the bond would fund some major projects including building a third intermediate school. It would be at the transportation and maintenance facility yard near Bonham Elementary School while the current facility would be moved elsewhere. We’re told the tax rate would not go up if approved. view article arw

Fitch Ratings has assigned an 'AAA' rating based on the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) guaranty and an 'AA-' underlying rating to the following Brownsville Independent School District (ISD), TX's debt obligations: view article arw

Friendswood ISD residents can vote in November to approve up to $128 million in bonds after the March election was delayed due to COVID-19. The board of trustees voted at a March 23 special meeting to postpone the 2020 bond election to Nov. 3. If approved by voters, the proposed bonds will provide funding for various facility and technology upgrades. These improvements include a new 900-student campus on the West Ranch site owned by FISD, which will replace the existing Cline Elementary School; classroom additions to Westwood Elementary School, Windsong Intermediate School and Bales Intermediate School; and renovations to Friendswood High School to address career and technical education, fine arts and athletics needs. view article arw

Trustees at Goose Creek CISD voted 4-3 against changing the name of Baytown’s Robert E. Lee High School early Thursday, capping off a contentious board meeting that lasted more than eight and a half hours.  However, the board did approve the creation of a committee to study changing the name of the school and potentially others, and trustees could revisit the issue once the committee has finished its work.  The debate over changing the name of one of Texas’ last remaining schools to bear Robert E. Lee’s name comes amid national calls to remove monuments commemorating and rename schools honoring Confederate figures.  The conversation in Baytown has grown especially contentious in recent weeks. Proponents of keeping the name filed grievances against two trustees in favor of changing it. Trustee Agustin Loredo III alleged those seeking to keep the name have called the school where he works and the Texas Education Agency to try to get him sanctioned, although neither effort succeeded. Trustee Richard Clem said he has gotten emails from people, including an alderman in Chicago, telling him that his vote as a white man did not matter and that he was racist.    (11) view article arw

A Goose Creek CISD meeting stretched well into Wednesday night as trustees prepared to vote on whether to change the name of Robert E Lee High School in Baytown.  Trustees had not yet voted by press time, but the meeting had started contentiously. Several complainants filed grievances against trustees Shae Cottar and Agustin Loredo III, alleging they misused their social media pages in the weeks leading up to the vote.  In their complaints about Cottar, six complainants said that he had joined two Facebook groups that were in favor of changing the name, and that he had posted a Houston Chronicle op-ed from a Lee alumnus arguing that the name be changed. He and his wife had also donated $100 to a group fighting to change Lee High’s name. view article arw

Thousands of Cy-Fair ISD students returned to their campuses for the first time since March on Sept. 8, kicking off the start of the 2020-21 school year. With new safety protocols in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19, the first day of classes may have looked different for students and staff. More than half of district students logged on to virtual classrooms through CFISD Connect. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — COVID-19 has delayed some Austin ISD construction projects, but with the district looking to start virtual classes Tuesday, with an eventual return to the classroom in a few weeks, could we see schools that aren’t ready when students return?  Many Austin ISD schools are under construction with many more waiting for improvements.  “Modernization is what the heart of our bond program is about,” said Drew Johnson, Austin ISD’s director of planning and project controls. He says despite some setbacks, the schools will be ready. view article arw

San Benito CISD is living up to its motto with the addition of an indoor multipurpose athletic facility, an aquatic center and a performing arts center — three “Gold Standard” facilities that will enrich the education experience for current and future Greyhounds.  The school board passed a bond in Nov. 2018 after a bond committee, consisting of district administrators and community members, recommended the three projects following a means assessment. Brighton Group, LLC, was the project management firm selected to manage the bond program and oversee construction. view article arw

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'AAA' rating based on the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) guarantee and a 'AA' underlying rating to the following unlimited tax (ULT) bonds for Socorro Independent School District, Texas: view article arw

HARLINGEN, Texas – Dr. Guy Bailey, president of UT-Rio Grande Valley, says he has never worked with a school district as smoothly as Harlingen CISD. Bailey participated Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new UTRGV Early College High School, located at 2901 Medical Drive in Harlingen.  “I cannot think of anything I am prouder of,” Bailey said, referring to the new school.  Bailey recalled a conversation he had a couple of years ago with Harlingen CISD Superintendent Art Cavazos. They discussed the potential of the new school. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — After two years of construction, and now dealing with pandemic closures, one of Austin ISD's newest modern elementary, Doss, is ready to welcome students. It closed in 2017 because buildings were old and rundown, but now it's a state-of-the-art campus. "The spaces are open. I love that we have tables everywhere. Desks are able to be pushed together, not just your typical students sitting at one desk," said Morgan Zamen, a Doss Elementary fourth-grade teacher.  view article arw

HARLINGEN — It’s on the move. The new Early College High School is well on its way to serving Harlingen school district students at a brand new 64,000-square-foot facility.  City leaders, university officials and school district administrators met for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning at 2901 Medical Drive. Construction has already begun on the new state-of-the-art facility scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 school year. view article arw

During the August 17 school board meeting, the Frenship ISD Board of Trustees approved an order calling for a bond election on November 3, 2020. The bond election was previously scheduled for May but was postponed due to COVID-19. The continual commercial and residential growth in the District coupled with the postponement to a November election equates to Frenship community members seeing a minimal tax impact for the proposed $299.7 million dollar bond. The overall District tax rate has changed slightly from $1.42 for fiscal year 2019-2020 to $1.4281 for fiscal year 2020-2021. This means the tax impact for the average homeowner is $1.12 each month or less than $14 a year.   (31) view article arw