Leander ISD weighs future bond considering $1.5 billion in projects

Leander ISD administrative building
LISD's board of trustees will receive an update from the citizens’ facility advisory committee May 20 about the committee's process. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

LISD's board of trustees will receive an update from the citizens’ facility advisory committee May 20 about the committee's process. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leander ISD could add about 10,000 to 16,000 more students in the next 10 years, according to 2020 growth estimates. The district expects almost 8,000 students could be added by 2026.

To meet student growth, the school district is considering a November bond election for construction, technology, renovation and capital projects over the next several years. Projects could total up to $1.5 billion, according to the school district.

LISD's board of trustees will receive an update from the citizens’ facility advisory committee May 20 about the committee's progress. Then, the steering committee will continue discussing and debating projects several weeks before presenting a bond recommendation to the school board of trustees, according to the district.

The bond election could be called as early as November. The deadline to call a November election is Aug. 16.

Projects are organized into tiers based on need as critical, important or supplemental. According to the district, Tier 1 projects cost between $863.3 million-$926 million depending on the number of years' worth of projects. Projects could span three, four or five years, according to district documents.


Projects include:

Elementary schools

  • five new elementary schools construction;

  • renovations and improvements at Bagdad, Block House Creek, Bush, Cox, Cypress, Deer Creek, Faubion, Giddens, Knowles, Mason, Nauman, Plain, Pleasant Hill, Rutledge, Steiner Ranch, Whitestone and Winkley elementary schools; and

  • expanding and improving all elementary schools’ playgrounds.


Middle schools


  • one new middle school; and

  • renovations and improvements Cedar Park, Canyon Ridge, Henry, Leander and Running Brushy middle schools.


High schools


  • new building for New Hope High School;

  • renovations and improvements at Cedar Park, Leander and Vista Ridge high schools;

  • design and construction for a school of choice to offer students “a small, specialized program to meet the needs for student choice and delay the need for a seventh comprehensive high school”;

  • new building for the 18+ transition services program, which serves students who qualify for special education services after high school; and

  • replacements of old high school band instruments.


Ancillary services


  • new bus terminal facility in the southern area of the district to reduce fuel and vehicle costs; and

  • addition, renovation and installation of secure vestibules at district facilities.


Technology


  • replacing classroom projectors with interactive panels;

  • refreshing student, teacher and staff technology devices, including laptops; and

  • updating network infrastructure to improve internet access.


In 2017, Leander ISD voters approved a $454.4 million bond for projects such as school construction and improvement. The 2017 bond included school construction of Larkspur Elementary, Tarvin Elementary, Elementary School No. 29 and Danielson Middle schools.

Of the 26 total projects in the bond, 14 are completed, according to a May update. Other projects include land buys that are not under contract or projects that are in progress, in design or not yet started.
By Taylor Girtman
Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in Feb. 2020.


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