Round Rock ISD trustees voted unanimously Thursday to send a $572.09 million bond package to voters on May 6.
“This is a historic time in the district,” RRISD Superintendent Steve Flores said prior to the board’s vote. “We have put a lot of thought [into the proposal], and this board has done its due diligence.”
The election will include three ballot propositions: One emphasizing growth, renewal and safety; a second dealing with innovation and classroom expansion; and a third focused on fine arts and athletics.
“I really believe that this bond is the right amount [of money]for the right amount of things we need for this district,” trustee Paul Tisch said.
Proposition 1 contains the highest-priority projects, said Corey Ryan, RRISD’s executive director of communications and community relations. The proposition includes funding for RRISD’s proposed sixth high school, which at $130 million is the bond package’s big-ticket item.
The high school would be built on Pearson Ranch Road in Austin near Elsa England Elementary School and the future Pearson Ranch Middle School.
Also included in the bond package is $22 million for a proposed indoor aquatics center in north Round Rock across from the Texas A&M Health Science Center. The center would be a collaborative project paid for by RRISD; the city of Round Rock; CHASCO Family YMCA; and the Avery family, which would donate the land.
The total bond amount is above that recommended by a citizen bond committee, which suggested a bond package worth $530.1 million. The committee also recommended breaking the bond up into either two or three separate measures.
Splitting the bond into multiple propositions sets up several scenarios depending on what voters decide in May: All three could pass, just one or two could pass or all three could fail.
In recent weeks, RRISD trustees have grappled over whether multiple propositions is the best move.
For example, funding for the auditorium for RRISD’s proposed sixth high school was initially placed into Proposition 3 but later moved to Proposition 1, in which funding for the high school itself is included.
The change came after concern that voters could approve the third proposition but reject the first one, leaving RRISD with funding to build the auditorium but no money to build the high school to which it would be attached.
Voters last approved a bond in RRISD in 2014. The $299 million bond provided funding for improvements at McNeil and Westwood high schools, new auditoriums at Cedar Ridge and Stony Point high schools, the new Joe Lee Johnson Elementary School, a new middle school, new buses and maintenance at several schools.
Proposition 1: $381.66 million
- High School No. 6: $130 million
- Districtwide capital renewal and replacement projects: $79.8 million
- Districtwide technology updates: $44.8 million
- Elementary School No. 35 (planned for northeast Round Rock): $32 million
- Design and Phase 2 of McNeil High School master plan: $30 million
- Phase 4 of Westwood High School master plan: $22 million
- High School No. 6 auditorium: $20 million
- Districtwide safety-related technology items: $13.66 million
- School bus replacement and growth planning: $9.4 million
Proposition 2: $133.6 million
- Phase 2 of C.D. Fulkes Middle School master plan: $45 million
- Districtwide career technical high school program: $25 million
- Canyon Vista Middle School classroom additions and athletic facilities expansion: $20 million
- Brushy Creek Elementary School classroom additions: $13.3 million
- Patsy Sommer Elementary School classroom additions: $11 million
- Caraway Elementary School classroom and facilities additions: $7.5 million
- Forest Creek Elementary School classroom additions: $6.8 million
- Design of proposed early college and health professions high school: $2.5 million
- Stony Point High School cafeteria expansion and courtyard addition: $2.5 million
Proposition 3: $56.83 million
- Indoor aquatics center: $22 million
- Outdoor Athletic Facility No. 3: $12 million
- Districtwide future land purchases: $8 million
- Hernandez Middle School track and gym additions: $3.9 million
- Round Rock High School auditorium design: $3 million
- Westwood High School auditorium design $3 million
- Districtwide middle school stadium and field enhancements: $2.3 million
- Dragon Stadium upgrades: $1.8 million
- Grisham Middle School athletic training facility: $415,000
- Chisholm Trail Middle School athletic training facility: $415,000
How much would taxes increase?
The bond proposes to increase RRISD’s tax rate from $1.3325 to $1.3426 per $100 of property valuation. The increase would come from the debt service portion of the district’s tax rate, which would increase from $0.2925 to $0.3026.
The general operating portion of the district’s tax rate would remain at $1.0400 per $100 of property valuation.
Effect on taxpayers:
- The bond would increase monthly tax payments by $0.84 for every $100,000 in home value, and increase the annual total by $10.10.
- For an average RRISD home value of $264,752 (after accounting for the homestead exemption), tax payments would increase by $2.23 per month and $26.74 per year.
- Taxpayers whose home values are equal to the district’s average would pay about $3,555 in taxes to RRISD per year if the bond passes, compared to about $3,528 without the proposed tax increase.
These estimates assume passage of all three propositions.
Source: Round Rock ISD