School Bond 2013

On May 11, 2013, Amarillo voters gave the OK for Amarillo ISD to raise taxes by two cents and to issue $99.45 million worth of school bonds to finance a major renovation and construction program for Amarillo schools which will help manage growth, improve school buildings and upgrade security.

Specifically, the project:     
  • Addresses the needs of hundreds of new students by including classroom additions at seven schools, two new 6th grade campuses for Bowie and Travis middle schools, and a new elementary school in the Caprock cluster;
  • Replaces heating and air-conditioning systems at several schools, provides a new cafeteria and kitchen at Eastridge Elementary, and replaces grass with synthetic turf on middle school playing fields;
  • Provides for video security upgrades and secure main entrance configurations at 13 elementary schools which do not already have a visitor-controlled entrance.

Spring 2016 Update

Safety, security and much needed space are the headlines as two-thirds of projects funded by a $99.4 million school bond issue in 2013 are now in use across the district.

One of the most comprehensive of all the School Bond 2013 projects is in the installation phase at every campus in the district. A new digital security system replaces the district’s aging analog cameras and more than doubles the amount of cameras in operation district-wide. The new and vastly improved digital system provides improved coverage and clarity, making for a heightened level of safety for everyone on our campuses. “Our children’s safety is our first concern,” says Amarillo ISD Chief Technology Officer Jeff Roller. “This new video system allows us to have better insight to what’s happening on campus, both internally and externally, and provide for a safer environment for those students to learn.” Each of the 2,100 cameras also has infrared and motion detection capabilities, an analytics system and the ability to self-adjust and compensate for wind or sun.

Because they were being built as the camera project got underway, the new Bowie 6th and Travis 6th grade campuses are the district’s first to be fully wired with the new security system. Both campuses opened their doors to students in August. Built near the middle schools their students will attend, the campuses are designed to be a developmental buffer as learners transition from elementary to middle school.

Along with the new campuses, dozens of new classrooms are also in use this school year. Fifty-seven classrooms at seven schools and a new cafeteria at Eastridge Elementary provide the necessary space to accommodate AISD’s growing student population. A primary focus of the School Bond 2013 projects addresses the significant student population increase, which at the time of the bond election had grown by more than 3,000 students in just six years. Though budgeted for in the bond, a new elementary school near Caprock High School will not be built until the student population growth justifies it by reaching at least 250 to 300 students.

Additionally, synthetic turf athletic fields replaced natural grass at the district’s nine middle schools, making for a safer, longer lasting and lower maintenance playing surface for students.

A few bond projects, like the sixth-grade campuses, came in over-budget, others such as HVAC replacement and video surveillance are under budget. In all, projections are the $99.45 million bond issue will be sufficient to cover all of the identified needs.


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