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 specifics

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

“We didn't want to ask for more than what we need, so all that's going to add up to $313 million, and we projected 0% tax rate increase,” Chief Financial Officer Paul McLarty 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
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.

Diving in deeper

The construction of NBHS will take place over several years, with Phase 1 already underway. Phase 1 consists of career and technical education classrooms, some academic classrooms, the cafeteria, the front office and the library. According to NBHS Principal Greg Hughes, it is not large enough to hold the entire student body.

“So basically, if Proposition A doesn't pass, we'll have half a high school at New Braunfels High School,” NBISD board Vice President Nancy York said.

If the proposition does not pass, NBISD Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury said she would be concerned about the safety of students moving between the completed Phase 1 building and the existing high school multiple times a day during passing periods.

“It would definitely be an inconvenience from a lot of perspectives. And if we're talking about an impact to the student's education, I would say there would definitely be an academic impact as well as an extracurricular,” Arterbury said.

Students will still be receiving instruction on campus while each phase of construction is completed, causing the redesign to be orchestrated to align with student instruction.

“One of the things we talked about as a staff this year that we really focused on, that we tried to hammer home before the school year started was, we cannot let construction impede instruction,” Hughes said.

Items worth mentioning

Major maintenance projects throughout the district would also be funded through Proposition A for $28.3 million.

“We've got a lot of old campuses. The main major maintenance alone is going to take care of so much of the issues we have at some of our older campuses,” McLarty said

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 this fall. The stadium would also include an eight-lane competition track, concession stand and restrooms.

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

“We have a great opportunity right now in New Braunfels ISD to make sure we give the kids the very best that we possibly can,” NBISD Athletic Director Richard Mendoza said.

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

“Every single campus and every single program will somehow, for lack of a better term, be touched by this bond,” District 1 trustee Morgan Renaud said.

The voter registration deadline is April 4, with early voting beginning April 22 for the May 4 election. More information on NBISD’s May bond, including a detailed breakdown of each proposition can be found here.