GISD committee recommends $166 million 2018 school bond election

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Georgetown ISD’s Citizens Advisory Committee recommended a $166 million 2018 bond to the district’s board of trustees Monday.

If approved, the largest portion of the money would go toward building two new elementary schools as well as expanding Ford Elementary School, located at 210 Woodlake Drive, at a cost of $74 million. Other recommendations include improvements and upgrades to safety and security, technology and infrastructure of current facilities.

“We looked at the needs of all students, both students who are currently in the district and student who will be in the district 10 years from now,” said Scott Firth, member of the CAC who presented to the board.

The break down of the recommended projects are:

  • Two new elementary schools and the expansion of Ford Elementary School-$74 million
  • Repair and replacement of aging infrastructure-$19.5 million
  • Athletic upgrades-$14.5 million
  • Land acquisition for future campuses-$10.6 million
  • Safety and security-$9.1 million
  • Technology upgrades-$6 million
  • Renovations at Forbes Middle School and East View High School-$4.9 million
  • Upgrades for the performing arts center and fine arts-$4.3 million
  • New buses-$2.1 million
  • Plan and design a new middle school-$2 million
  • Plan and design a new CTE center-$2 million
  • Future-ready learning classroom experience-$1.5 million
  • New swim facility-$15.5 million (proposition)

The committee recommended the board call a bond for the first 12 projects and treat the new swim facility as a separate proposition due to survey results that said it was only about 46 percent favorable.

The CAC is made up of about 70 district stakeholders who provide facility and equipment recommendations to GISD board of trustees after having studied current facilities, educational programs, student population trends associated with the school district and other data relevant to providing quality educational programs for all students, according to the district’s website.

The committee has met six times since its first meeting in February.

“This was not just a rubber stamp exercise; this was a project that started in February and we did analyze a lot of data, talked to a lot of people, ran a couple of surveys,” Firth said. “Tonight is an aggregation of all that information.”

The board will vote on the whether or not to accept the recommendations during a special meeting Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the GISD Administration Building Boardroom at 603 Lakeway Drive. The board can vote on all, some or none of the recommendations.

If a bond election is called, it will appear on the November ballot.

“One of [the district’s]beliefs is that a good education is the foundations of this community and that community engagement enhances the educational experiences of our students,” GISD Superintendent Fred Brent said. “Those two beliefs are critical to our district.”

GISD’s last bond election took place in 2015 which included the construction of Wagner Middle School and Purl Elementary School, technology upgrades, secure entrances, new athletic turf, and bus and land acquisitions. That bond was for $160.6 million.

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Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.
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