Posted Date: 06/03/2020
June 7, 2018 -- Last November Amarillo voters passed a $100 million school bond that focuses on four main areas of construction and renovation across AISD: safety and security ($11.5 million) classroom additions ($25.3 million), facility updates ($35.3 million) and restoration and replacement ($27.9 million). Eighty percent of AISD schools are now more than 50 years old and the bond will allow the District to address some of the more critical maintenance issues that come with older facilities, as well as add an additional layer of safety and security measures at several schools.
In January, the School Board approved contracting with four architect firms to begin the design work necessary for all the bond projects, with each firm responsible for a package of projects. Architects have begun visiting campuses to make evaluations and develop design plans.
Actual construction on the first project, at Fannin Middle School and Lamar Elementary School, is set to begin in November, followed by a package of projects at Coronado and Lee elementary schools and Amarillo and Tascosa high schools. All of the 2017 bond projects are scheduled to begin within the next two years, with the final projects targeted to be complete by summer of 2021.
For the Fannin/Lamar bond project, at an estimated cost of $16 million, Fannin will receive major upgrades and renovations including a secured entrance with bullet resistant glass, refurbished courtyard areas, a new library and enlarged cafeteria, restroom renovations, and the addition of 11 new classrooms. The work at Lamar will include drainage improvements, bullet resistant glass installation and plumbing and sewer line replacement.
The second bond project, at an estimated cost of $11.5 million, will include renovations to Amarillo High, Tascosa High, and Coronado and Lee elementary schools. The two high schools will receive renovations to restrooms and auditoriums, locker room shower/restroom upgrades, plumbing and sewer line replacement and site drainage improvements. At the two elementary schools, plumbing and sewer lines will be replaced, bullet-resistant glass will be installed in exterior doors, site drainage work will be done, and drop-off/pick-up areas will be improved.
The 2017 bond issue will impact the average homeowner by an estimated $4 per month or $48.02 per year. Five cents will be added to the portion of the tax rate that is used to pay off long-term debt. Though the Board will not officially set the tax rate until later in the summer, the proposed 2018 tax rate is $1.239 per $100 property valuation, a 5-cent increase over last year’s rate of $1.189.