NISD’s 42-member planning committee met earlier this month at Leo Adams Middle School, where they discussed the school district’s growth and anticipated needs. This group was charged with the task of assessing facilities needs and population growth to help determine whether a bond election will be needed in the next year.
It will ultimately be up to the board of trustees whether to call for a bond referendum—as it did and voters approved in 2017.
Demographics data indicate that NISD is growing rapidly, and it is the fastest-growing district in Region 11 over the last five years, according to an NISD presentation.
About 30,000 future homes are currently platted throughout the various cities that comprise the school district, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities Tim McClure said. Demographics data also points to increasing homebuilding and sales in the area.
The Hawthorne Meadows and the Oak Creek Trails at Champions Circle subdivisions saw high closing rates of more than 200 home sales in 2019, according to the NISD presentation. Thousands more homes are anticipated in other neighborhoods, such as Sendera Ranch, Bluebonnet Ranch and Elizabeth Creek at Alpha Ranch.
There is still a lot of data to review at this point, McClure said. Among other improvements, the committee is considering recommending the building of four to five additional elementary schools, one to two middle schools and one high school, according to the presentation.
Overall, if the district includes all the projects it needs, the combined value could reach $700 million, McClure said. Whether a tax rate increase is needed to support a potential bond remains to be seen.
At least three more long-range facilities planning committee meetings will take place through early January, with the next one scheduled for Nov. 19 at V.R. Eaton High School. The committee will then make its recommendation to the board of trustees.
“We've used this committee process and the citizens group process for the last 20 years,” McClure said. “We believe in that process of collaborating with our community to bring that recommendation forward to the board for consideration.”
The board, in turn, must decide whether to call for a bond referendum by a Feb. 14 deadline, according to the NISD presentation.