New Braunfels ISD voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for or against a $313 million bond election that will potentially fund major high school campus projects, athletic facilities and technology throughout the district.

The NBISD board of trustees voted unanimously to call the bond election during a regular meeting Feb. 12. Voters will cast their ballots toward the three propositions May 4.

The overview

According to district officials, if all three propositions on the ballot are approved, there will be no tax rate increase to taxpayers.

“It's important for people to understand there's no tax rate increase. However, taxes could go up if your home value goes up,” NBISD Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury said.

The Bond Planning Committee, made up of 80 community members, recommended to the board that the bond should be split into three propositions.
  • Proposition A: facilities, $267 million
  • Proposition B: stadiums, $42.5 million
  • Proposition C: technology, $3 million
Arterbury said the committee made an effort to incorporate improvement projects for all 15 schools in the district into the bond.

“Our district vision is every student every day,” Arterbury said. “And I think it's important that we don't just put money or prioritize projects in certain parts of the district.”

A closer look

At $227 million, the largest project on the bond in Proposition A would be to construct Phase 2 of the New Braunfels High School redesign. If approved by voters, the funding would go toward building new academic wings, an auditorium, fine arts spaces and athletic facilities among other projects on the campus.

Major maintenance projects throughout the district would also be funded through Proposition A for $23.8 million.

“Major maintenance is a big one because we need to take care of the facilities we've got,” ​​NBISD Chief Financial Officer Paul McLarty said. “We have a lot of older facilities, [we] have a lot of small schools. So we need to make sure we're taking care of those as well.”

Proposition B is focused on making improvements to athletic stadiums throughout the district. If approved, $40 million of funding would be allocated to the construction of a 7,000-seat stadium at Long Creek High School, which is slated to open to grades 9-10 this fall. The stadium would also include an eight-lane competition track, concession stand and restrooms.

“It certainly aids in starting a foundation for Long Creek and continuing traditions at New Braunfels High School by having separate stadiums,” NBISD Athletic Director Richard Mendoza said. “We're rooted in history, building a legacy and growing into the future, that’s building the core beliefs in New Braunfels ISD, and I think those things support that.”

If Proposition B is not passed, Mendoza said that the Unicorn Stadium at NBHS will be rebranded into a district stadium and serve both high school campuses.

“What will naturally come is scheduling will be different, it will affect varsity scheduling, as well as other events. ... Because now you would be considering two high schools, not one,” Mendoza said. “So essentially, the impact is you would have a shared venue with a shared identity.”

The Unicorn Stadium at NBHS would also receive $2.5 million in funding for improvements to the turf, press box, lighting and sound system if Proposition B is passed.

If approved, Proposition C would fund $3 million in technology upgrades, including new student iPads and network hardware.

“Anytime you're in a fast-growth district or a growing district, it's optimal to get on a regular bond cycle so that you can continue to maintain those projects,” Arterbury said. “If you wait 10 years, then you're trying to do projects, and it may end up costing the voters more.”

What's next?

Early voting begins April 22 for the May 4 election. More information on NBISD’s May bond, including a detailed breakdown of each proposition, can be found on their website.

“We want people to just be educated and then go vote. When people cast their ballots and they let their voices be heard, then we know as a district where we're going to go in the future,” Arterbury said.