Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

Voters are split on their desires for a $222.1 million bond package in Allen ISD.  Through early voting numbers, 21,994 voters are for Proposition A, and 21,947 were opposed to it.  Proposition A, which has a price tag of $189.3 million, includes campus updates, capital projects, safety and security upgrades, technology enhancements and transportation. view article arw

Bryan ISD asked voters to approved a $175 million bond. Currently, the vote count is 17,018 for and 16,736 against. Superintendent Christie Whitbeck says that is too close to call. view article arw

Voters in Northwest ISD are deciding whether to approve a change to the district tax rate along with four district bond referendums totaling $986.6 million.  Early results indicate the district tax rate will not change from its current rate of $1.3055 to a new rate of $1.4663 per $100 valuation. A total of 28,566 votes, or 63.31%, have been cast against the proposed rate change, compared to 16,552 votes in favor of the change. view article arw

Updated Nov. 3, 8:50 p.m.  Niki Rhodes maintains a commanding lead in the race for Friendswood ISD trustee position 2 as two propositions up for vote now favor approval.  With 18 out of 46 voting centers reporting, Rhodes has maintained her lead with 6,578 votes, while Kurt Jones and Rene DeLaFuente trail with 3,425 and 2,254 votes, respectively. This is out of 12,257 ballots counted so far.   view article arw

Voters in the Troup ISD area rejected a $22.6 million bond Tuesday evening that would have been used to improve its elementary campus and strengthen its high school career technology education program.  Voters, which include those in both Smith and Cherokee counties, disapproved the project by a vote of 1,408 to 985, according to unofficial complete results from both counties.  The bond was set to be divided up into almost equal halves, with about $10.2 million designated for the elementary campus and $12.39 million headed to the high school for improvements. view article arw

TROUP, Texas (KETK) – Troup ISD’s bond proposal to spend $22.6 million for improvements was being defeated, based on early voting returns.  The vote tally was 406 in favor and 543 against the proposal. The tally does not reflect Election Day voting.  Troup ISD’s proposal calls for building new pre-k classes, a library/learning center and a larger cafeteria at the elementary school and more classrooms and a larger cafeteria and gym at the joint middle school and high school campus. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas voters will be deciding on a major bond proposal by Dallas ISD on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  If passed, the $3.7 billion bond package would be the largest ever in state history.  The bond would fund a vast array of improvements for the district from safety and security upgrades, to new technology, as well as existing building renovations, 10 new facilities and 14 replacement schools. view article arw

Both Dallas and Fort Worth ISD are asking voters to approve more money for everything from providing social services to internet connectivity.  Students at James Madison High School in Dallas are expected to perform. In January, before COVID-19,  Principal Marian Willard told NBC 5 how so many social issues get in the way of her student's succeeding.   "I have a young lady who was in our collegiate academy, her mother was deported, at this point in her education, she was a straight-A student, at this point she's really not thinking about school, she's thinking about her mom," said Williard. view article arw

LAMESA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – For small towns like Klondike football isn’t just something you do, it’s an experience and something the whole town comes together for under those Friday night lights.  Steve McLaren, the Klondike ISD Superintendent said “We’re a small school out here in the middle of a cotton patch and Friday nights here aren’t just a football game I mean it’s a community. We have everybody come out I mean we have people that come out that don’t even have kids playing.” view article arw

There are many bonds in this world. The bond between friends, the bond between parent and child, then there is the kind of bond where residents entrust their elected leaders to spend large amounts of money on their behalf.  There are different types of bonds governments use to fund projects, some that need voter approval and some do not. But in the end, they are all funded through your tax money and all impact how much you pay. Think of the city and school district as your community financial managers. Then think about who is doing it right and who is doing it wrong.  Liberty Hill ISD is halfway through spending $98.6 million voters approved in 2018 to build two new schools, add on to another and renovate one more. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The WFISD school bond, two props totaling $290 million.  “Wichita Falls cannot continue to kick the can down the road,” school bond supporter Nick Schreiber said. “This is an investment in what we do for our children.” view article arw

CONROE, TX - At their October meeting, the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees received information from Darrin Rice, Conroe ISD CFO, and John Roebuck, BOK Financial Advisors, detailing a savings of nearly $90 million as a result of bond refunding and new bond sales. Earlier this month, Conroe ISD was able refund $199,630,000 in bonds for an interest cost savings of $50,067,475, or approximately $3.5 million a year for 14 years. The District was also able to issue $165,090,000 in new bonds for over $38 million less in interest costs than what was estimated in the 2019 November bond referendum. These combined transactions equate to a savings of nearly $90 million. view article arw

Sunnyvale ISD and WRA Architects, working together for the last two decades, recently collaborated to reimagine Next Generation learning and its implications on the District's latest new school.  Sunnyvale Intermediate School just opened last year and has already received five design awards from Texas school industry associations. The school was recently awarded the 2020 Educational Interiors Silver Citation Award from American School & University magazine. This school features an ample amount of Next Generation learning areas.  The two-story building was designed to hold up to 600 students housing grades 3, 4, and 5. Sunnyvale Intermediate provides the division of these students into classrooms a bit different. The students are split into three small learning communities, each community holds nine classrooms between the two floors, and include an equal number of students from each of the three grades. These students will stay together in the same “house” for all three years in the building. view article arw

Recess is about to be more interesting at Twain Dual Language Academy.  On Sunday afternoon, about a dozen paint-splattered, masked parent volunteers and their children set up stencils and painter’s tape to apply bright, interactive designs to the outdoor playground.  “We’re activating these outdoor spaces,” said Cristina Sosa Noriega, the alumni engagement and volunteer manager at the San Antonio Independent School District Foundation.  “There was an overwhelming interest and demand to do this,” said Noriega, a local artist known for her hand-painted signs. “It became something that parents really wanted to come and help with because COVID-19 had kept them from visiting the schools. They still want to be involved.” view article arw

The multistory, indoor venue could attract major swimming events and will help address one of the city's infrastructural inequities. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Thursday, Amarillo ISD unveiled the name and logo of its new career technical school.  According to AISD, the Amtech Career Academy is a 231,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art school.  The new campus includes a 3,500-square-foot robot and drone coliseum, a compete audio-visual and video production studio, and a tech and collision repair center. view article arw

Katy Independent School District wants to hear from the community about naming its Agriculture Sciences Project Center at the Gerald D. Young Agricultural Facility. Together with the pavilion, rodeo arena and barns, the project center is a place where Katy ISD FFA agricultural projects and learning opportunities flourish. The project center is built as an optimal facility to hold meetings, labs and interactive experiences  To submit a name nomination, first review the Katy ISD Board Policy. Then, complete a Nomination for Naming a New School or Facility Form - Agricultural Sciences Project Center. The form can be found on the Katy ISD School and Facility webpage. Submit the form and any supporting materials through any of the below methods:. view article arw

The additions and renovations included key areas of need due to the growing student population and aging facilities. view article arw

A landscaping business allegedly billed the Houston Independent School District $6 million for work it was contracted to perform, but never completed, according to a filing in federal court this week. Federal investigators say Southwest Wholesale LLC, which contracts with HISD, overbilled the district hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from 2013 to February 2020, when the FBI raided the district's administration building and then-HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby's home. view article arw

A commenter in Leading Off this morning asks an important question: Why do ballots claim that the Dallas ISD bond election represents a vote to increase property taxes while supporters of the bond say it will not?  The short answer is that regardless of the details of this particular bond election, the property tax language is a new blanket requirement of any school bond election that was included in the Texas school finance reform bill that passed during the last legislative session. In a video urging for the passage of the DISD bond, state Rep. Rafael Anchia says that the inclusion of the language in the bill was part of a legislative compromise that helped get the lege’s large school finance bill passed. But even so, is the language correct – is the DISD bond vote a vote to raise taxes? view article arw

At their October meeting, the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees received information from Darrin Rice, Conroe ISD CFO, and John Roebuck, BOK Financial Advisors, detailing a savings of nearly $90 million as a result of bond refunding and new bond sales. Earlier this month, Conroe ISD was able refund $199,630,000 in bonds for an interest cost savings of $50,067,475, or approximately $3.5 million a year for 14 years. The District was also able to issue $165,090,000 in new bonds for over $38 million less in interest costs than what was estimated in the 2019 November bond referendum. These combined transactions equate to a savings of nearly $90 million. view article arw

Fitch Ratings has affirmed the following ratings of South San Antonio Independent School District, TX at 'A': --$88.115 million in outstanding unlimited tax (ULT) bonds; --the district's Issuer Default Rating (IDR). The Rating Outlook is Negative. The bonds also carry a 'AAA' enhanced rating based on the Texas Permanent School Fund guarantee. view article arw

Rudder High School opened its doors in 2008. Already in 2020, students have been forced into portable classrooms—thanks to overcrowding. “Those would become 14 classrooms and a set of restrooms,” said Christie Whitbeck, superintendent of Bryan ISD. A Bryan ISD bond election is asking taxpayers to fund $175 million dollars to expand Rudder High—and much more. The bond election would also fund the following: view article arw

Katy Independent School District wants to hear from the community about naming its Agriculture Sciences Project Center at the Gerald D. Young Agricultural Facility. Together with the pavilion, rodeo arena and barns, the project center is a place where Katy ISD FFA agricultural projects and learning opportunities flourish. The project center is built as an optimal facility to hold meetings, labs and interactive experiences. view article arw

Many Dallas County voters will be asked to consider approving a nearly $4 billion bond package for the Dallas ISD this year, the largest such package in Texas history. According to officials, the nearly $4 billion combined bond packages on the November ballott will touch nearly every building in the state's second-largest school district over the next decade, including over $1.9 billion allocated for modernizations and renovations. view article arw

Local bond propositions will raise property tax-supported debt by millions or billions.  After months of hardship brought on by government responses to the Chinese coronavirus, are Texas voters willing to approve local officials’ requests for higher taxes and debt this November?Many Texans are being asked to fund increases in local government spending, by either raising their own taxes or approving bond propositions that will grow local property tax-supported debt by millions or even billions. view article arw

In August, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved asking voters to support the bond election in November.  Trustee Miguel Solis said the ballot language is confusing sine voters. Many people assume voting for the propositions will increase tax rates when in fact the opposite is true.   “We have over $6 million in facility needs in DISD and these moneys goes to things like air conditions in our schools. They go to things like the façade outside, technology, athletic facilities,” he said. “We have had these needs for quite some time and we have structured this bond proposition in a way that would come at no tax increase to the taxpayer.”  Solis said trustees were very cognizant of the fact that currently the economy and many families in the district are struggling. He assured that the district will be very thoughtful of how the bonds are sold. view article arw

Checking in on how the school district is using data to create community hubs that aim to help the neighborhood as a whole. The most interesting portion of Dallas ISD’s historic bond is a speck of the $3.7 billion it is asking for. Proposition A allocates $3.27 billion for fixing up many of its campuses, which are an average of 52 years old. Inside that is $41 million that will provide wraparound services to communities that need them, using data and community input to guide the investments.  Its funding mechanism—a bond approved by voters—is, by most accounts, a unique way to pay for such an option. Because it is a bond, the district is obligated to build something. There will be physical structures housing critical services that communities lack, whether that be healthy food or mental health services. It will start with four such structures that will operate in school feeder patterns in West Dallas, Pleasant Grove, South Dallas, and Oak Cliff. The determination of where to spend this bond money was based on something called a Community Resource Index. view article arw

SAN ANGELO, TX – In the wake of the removal of the name "Robert E. Lee" from the San Angelo ISD middle school on Sherwood Way, the district is asking for the public's help in renaming it.   As previously reported, on Monday, October 19, San Angelo ISD school board trustees voted 6-1 to retire the name of Lee Middle School. San Angelo ISD will now follow school board policy called "CW local" to rename the school.  view article arw

Discussions over virtual schooling and new roofing took place during the Fairfield ISD School Board meeting held on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The main building on the new property, formerly called the Navarro complex, will be getting replaced by Honey’s Roofing at the cost of $86,700.  Mold and asbestos were found to be located in the building, and a new roof will help to insure that the mold does not return.With the 2020-2021 school year being unique in the sense of virtual schooling, they school district has not seen a decrease in attendance averages as compared to other school years. view article arw

The Carthage Junior High School building has probably reached the end of its life as an academic building, and several other campuses within Carthage ISD need to be assessed for structural issues.  Those are two concerns brought up to school officials during a districtwide facilities review conducted by Gallagher Construction. Robert Jolly reviewed the results with the school board on Monday, describing it as a “40,000-foot view synopsis.” view article arw

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

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

Students with Georgetown Independent School District are about to see a lot of changes. Voters approved a $150 million bond for the district in November 2018, and some upgrades have already been made as a result. In January, KVUE reported that crews finished installing new football and softball fields at East View High School in Georgetown. view article arw

Austin and Taylor elementary school students could find themselves stepping up if preliminary designs for their new schools become reality. Up some stairs, that is. Huckabee, a Fort Worth based architecture firm hired to create the two schools associated with the recently passed $138.7 million bond, created a two-story floor plan for Austin, on the southwest side of the city, and Taylor, in northeast Abilene. view article arw