Hays CISD calls for $238 million bond election in May

This bond election is roughly $21 million larger than the one Hays CISD canceled in 2020. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)
This bond election is roughly $21 million larger than the one Hays CISD canceled in 2020. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

This bond election is roughly $21 million larger than the one Hays CISD canceled in 2020. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

"We have ourselves a bond election," Hays CISD board President Esperanza Orosco declared during a Jan. 25 meeting, after the district's board of trustees voted unanimously in favor of a calling a $238,458,691 bond election for May 1.

Michael Sanchez's District 3 position and Will McManus' trustee at large position will also be up for election at the same time.

Although the 2021 bond is built off the framework of the canceled 2020 bond, it has increased by roughly $21.1 million. The 2020 bond was canceled due to uncertainties related to the pandemic after being rescheduled for the November general election.

"The bottom-line numbers haven't changed. We are looking at them differently," Chief Communications Officer Tim Savoy said during the meeting.

No tax rate increases were expected under the 2020 bond plan, but it was not immediately clear if that would carry over for the 2021 bond.


More information on the 2021 bond is available on the district's webpage.

Propositions

Like the 2020 bond, this year's bond election will include six propositions, which are voted on individually.

Proposition A accounts for more than half of the bond election's total sum, with $147,959,876 proposed to help accommodate district growth. It also accounts for $10.5 million of the increase from the 2020 bond.

"This time our Prop. A has a bunch more stuff that is much smaller in scope," District 4 trustee Merideth Keller said.

Four middle school expansions are included in the proposition alongside construction of a $38.48 million elementary school with a 900-student capacity in Buda's Sunfield development.

Roughly $2.5 million of Proposition A would go toward design fees for a 16th elementary school to be built as part of a future bond.

"The mindset was thinking how can we kind of stay ahead of the growth we know is coming," Savoy said during the meeting.

Starting the design now would reduce the time required to build the school once it is needed and funded while also allowing more time to examine finances and needs, Savoy told the board.

"That will give the bond oversight committee, the board and the community plenty of time to really dive into the numbers," Savoy said, while also noting it could be funded through a 2022 bond election.

A renovation of science labs at Hays High School accounts for another $23.5 million of Prop A.

Proposition B includes an extensive list of projects aimed at renovating and rehabilitating district assets. It is valued at $41,047,216.

It includes items such as HVAC and fire alarm projects as well as other maintenance items.

Proposition C, valued at $12,784,128, would see Lehman High School's stadium expanded for $7.02 million. Johnson High School's stadium would also be expanded for $5.76 million.

Both stadiums would have their capacities increased to 4,200, and team rooms and concession facilities would be added.

Proposition D includes improvements to Shelton Stadium parking. The LHS baseball and softball stadium bleachers, dugouts and sidewalks would be renovated as well. It is valued at $4,268,873.

The $29,820,598 Proposition E would fund the construction of a new administration building while also renovating the existing one.

Proposition F's $2,578,000 in funding would go toward technology infrastructure and instructional technology.
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.


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