In a discussion among the Leander ISD board of trustees April 4, Superintendent Bruce Gearing told the board and a crowd of community members the ballot language for the May 6 bond election would give the district options regarding projects to repurpose elementary campuses.

Among the items listed in the bond election's Proposition A, which would fund $698.33 million in projects, are proposals to repurpose three elementary schools and the Leander Extended Opportunity Center. The administration’s original ideas for these facilities—attempting to address uneven growth in the district—were to transform one school and the LEO campus into early childhood centers, one school into a professional learning center and one school into a facility housing both New Hope High School and administrative staff—essentially reducing the total number of schools.

“Of the three Steiner Ranch elementary schools, at some point there will only be enough students for two,” Gearing said. “So we jumped to that conclusion that you can close that third building and that that makes sense.”

These projects were part of the district’s long range plan developed by administrative staff and board members. Community members, though, have voiced concerns about potentially shuttering some schools in the central and southern portion of the district.

In response, Gearing said if the bond were to pass, LISD would not be forced to repurpose entire schools.

“What we didn’t think about is the fact that you could keep all three elementary schools open as the community schools that they are and repurpose just parts of those buildings,” Gearing said.

If the bond passes, some projects within the three propositions will begin this summer, according to Gearing. Others, such as repurposing schools, would require further community engagement and discussions.