Early voting is just around the corner and College Station ISD has proposed an $83.5 million bond measure for the November 5, 2013 ballot. College Station ISD Deputy Superintendent Clark Ealy said administrators point to the growing population as one of the main reasons for the bond. According to Ealy, the City of College Station has grown almost 1/3 since 2000.
He stressed the need for additional schools have become this district's top priority, as more families begin to plant roots in the Brazos Valley.
"Our needs are for school campuses," said Ealy.
The district proposes elementary school number nine for $20 million, which would be up and running by August 2015.
Ealy said he doesn't see the growth slowing down anytime soon. "We anticipate needing a tenth elementary, a third intermediate and a third middle school all by the end of this decade."
The extra growth also ties into the $3 million proposed for 25 new school buses. This funding would help administrators to replace buses 10 years and older. They would also carry students to new campuses.
Since Ealy said the district projects even more growth, another $5.5million would go toward buying land for future schools.
"We know this will not be the last bond that will come to the voters of College Station ISD with so that's why we'd like to set aside some money to look for land farther out or different places to be able to put future school sites on," said Ealy.
$15.5 million would bridge Timber Academy High School, the Venture Center and LEAP together in a larger building which would also make way for additional students.
New technology rings in at another $6.6 million. Ealy said if approved, would focus on the needs of students from first through 8th grade. This would provide a range of computers and programs for interactive learning.
Administrators met last spring to talk about safety, highlighting tragic events such as the Newtown CT school shooting. Ealy said $3.9 million would cover their plan to enclose all 15 campuses with limited entry and extra surveillance.
A new purchasing and warehouse center is an additional $7.5 million and renovating the current warehouse as an addition to the administration offices and meeting rooms would total $6.5 million. In 2009, Ealy said voters approved a bond which enabled the district with phase one of the support facilities. The district moved those facilities to Rock Prairie and William Fitch. “There was always a plan to have a second phase of that,” said Ealy. “It’ll allow us the space we need to house the items that we have during different times of the year and would help us to not rent space around the district.”
Now, this is how it breaks down for the taxpayer. If approved, this bond would be funded by property taxes. A home with a tax value of $150,000 would pay an additional $75 to $120 dollars a year. If your home is valued at $500,000, you would pay $250 to $400 a year.
Early voting starts Monday and the official day to head to the polls is November 5th.