In 2017, voters approved a $100 million bond program for Amarillo ISD that focused heavily on addressing the many maintenance and infrastructure needs of the District's aging schools. In school year 2021-22, the average age of Amarillo ISD schools is 63 years, and at least 80 percent of our schools are more than 50 years old. The 2017 school bond election raised the AISD tax rate by 5 cents, which translated to an estimated tax increase of $4 a month or $48.02 a year for the owner of a home valued at $121,000, the average home value in Amarillo ISD in 2017.
By December 2021, the 2017 bond work was substantially complete. The bond funds provided for about $60 million worth of much needed renovations to plumbing, sewer, drainage, restrooms and locker rooms across the District. Hundreds of student, public and staff restrooms at many of our middle and high schools were completely renovated. The District was able to extensively renovate the interior of Fannin Middle School, including a new library and enlarged cafeteria, restroom renovations and refurbished courtyard, a new office/administration area and the addition of several classrooms to accommodate growth. In all, 33 new classrooms were added at four campuses.
The bonds also provided for upgrades and renovations in the four high school auditoriums that included new seating, flooring, and state-of-the-art lighting and audio technology. Old and deteriorated windows were replaced at several campuses. The District was able to add security items at many campuses such as bullet-resistant glass in specified areas and improved student drop-off and pick-up zones at numerous schools.
With the exception of renovation work at North Heights Alternative School and the purchase of a few portable buildings, all the projects planned with 2017 bond funds have been completed, and there is some money left over. Plans for the remaining $5.4 million tentatively include remodeling the North Heights campus into a birth-to-age-five center after programs currently at North Heights move to the former Amarillo Area Center for Advanced Learning building.
For more AISD Bond information: