BOND PROGRAM SUMMARY SINCE 1980
In 1980 a $24.4 million bond issue was approved by District voters. This issue addressed pressing renovation needs at 26 schools, construction of Windsor elementary school and provision of 12 elementary activity centers. Not all renovation/modernization needs at the time were addressed. Over 80% of funds were used for renovation needs.
A bond issue of $57.7 million was approved by the community in 1987. This issue provided for additional classrooms needed to be in compliance with the new state-mandated 22-1 student-teacher ratio at the elementary level. Funds also provided for upgraded libraries, and elementary and high school activity centers. A significant percentage of the bond funds was used to continue general renovations of facilities including plumbing, heating and remodeling. Approximately 50% of the 1987 bond funds were used for renovation/maintenance needs.
In 1995, a $91 million bond election failed, with 70% of voters voting against it. The District formed a community bond committee, scaled the bond election back to $42.2 million and took it back to the voters in 1996. That time it passed with 76% of voters in favor. Included in this bond program were additional classrooms, science labs, and science lab renovations, elementary libraries, cafeteria renovations, restroom renovations and an infrastructure for technology including two-way communications systems. Also, renovations to clocks, bells, security lighting, fire alarms, and P.A. systems were included. Renovations were made to water and sewer systems. Air-conditioning for non-air conditioned schools was started as a part of this bond issue. In order to expand the magnet school program at Carver Elementary Academy, bond funds were used on refurbishment and additions to the old Hilltop Elementary building (which had been closed in the early 1970s due to desegregation) to create Carver Early Childhood Academy. The bond issue also included the construction of Woodlands Elementary School. Only a small percentage (approx. 7%) of the 1996 bond funds were designated for maintenance/renovation needs.
During the period the 1996 bond election projects were being implemented, additional projects were being funded by sources other than bond funds. These supplemental projects included addition of 26 classrooms, two libraries, roof renovations, ADA modifications, parking lot upgrades, additional restrooms and completion of projects to install two-way communications systems and HVAC systems.
Every campus benefited from the $108 million 2003 bond program. Three new schools (De Zavala, Emerson and Tradewind) were constructed. Major renovations to Forest Hill Elementary and Mann Middle School were also provided. Numerous classroom additions were completed along with the construction of new gyms at five middle schools and security upgrades at the elementary schools. Major maintenance items included roofing renovations, asbestos abatement, lighting retrofits, ADA upgrades, HVAC replacements and paving renovations. Approximately 46% of the 2003 bond funds were used for renovation and maintenance needs.
Between the 2003 and 2013 bond programs, other projects were funded with general fund reserves. Major projects included six state-mandated science labs at the high schools ($4.2 million), a significant renovation/addition to Humphrey’s Highland in the amount of $5.7 million, and (in 2014) technology improvements as well as new classrooms and renovations at six campuses costing $16 million.
The $99.45 million bond election in 2013 addressed growth, security, and facility improvements. Classroom additions were made to Hamlet, Mesa Verde, Coronado, and Rogers elementary schools, Houston and Crockett middle schools and Tascosa High School. $25.3 million of bond funds were used for Bowie and Travis 6th grade campuses and $14.4 million was reserved for a new elementary school in the Caprock cluster (which has not been built yet). The bond election also provided funds for secure main entrances to be added to elementary schools, video security upgrades and expansion, a new cafeteria and kitchen at Eastridge, synthetic turf for middle school playing fields, and replacement of aging HVAC equipment.