To accommodate the staggering growth rate in Northwest ISD, the Long Range Planning Committee recommended the district spend $1.995 billion on new facilities, renovations, technology and other needs by issuing a bond issue for the upcoming May election.

The $1.9 billion bond package would include $1.7 billion for growth, $170 million for capital improvements, $65 million for technology, $20 million for safety and security, and $19 million for equity and evolving needs.

The deadline for the board of trustees to call the election is Feb. 17—four days after the board meets again Feb. 13.

Several members of the committee spoke as part of their presentation to the board of trustees Jan. 23. The committee was formed in 2000. It comprises parents, staff, community members and business leaders that represent a cross-section of the district and provide various perspectives from the community. The 57-member committee meets twice annually to review growth, enrollment projections, and facility needs.

In 2000, NISD had five elementary schools, three intermediate schools, three middle schools, one high school and two alternative schools. In 2022, the district had 20 elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools and one alternative school.

As part of his demographics report, committee member Jack Golden, who is a parent from Trophy Club and has three children in NISD schools, said “Northwest ISD is far and away the fastest growing district in the metroplex. Growth is going to be coming, it has been coming and it will continue to come.”

Golden stated there are 2,500 new homes in the inventory in the district, more than 3,000 vacant lots that could be developed within a year and 23 subdivisions that represent 6,600 lots with groundwork underway.

“For every 10,000 homes, you’re gonna need about five to six elementary schools, about two middle schools and a high school,” Golden said.

Eighty-five percent of the committee’s recommendations are centered around growth. The recommendations include: four new early childhood development centers, four new elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, acquiring land for development, purchasing more school buses, building additional athletic facilities and building an additional agricultural facility.

Golden stressed the importance of acquiring land now not only because it would be cheaper to do so, but it would lock up that land for future school development. Talking about the additional athletic facilities, which include stadiums at Byron Nelson High School, Eaton High School and the yet-to-be-built High School No. 4, he mentioned how much more time that students are spending in athletic and extracurricular activities.

“For those of us that are parents of kids in football or band or cheerleading, it’s not Friday night lights anymore. ... It’s Thursday night lights,” Golden said. “We need to have the space for our sporting events.”

The committee also sent out a survey to 400 district residents who live in Tarrant, Denton and Wise counties, which are the three counties it serves. One of the questions stated NISD can finance between $1.5 billion to $2 billion with a tax increase of $0.001. On an average home in NISD valued at $450,000, that would translate into an extra $4.50 a year in the school district portion of property taxes. The survey found 67% of the respondents were considered “more likely” to support bonds at that level.

Besides growth-related capital projects, other funding in the bond would be for renovations to various facilities, such as enlarging high school cafeterias, adding bleachers to various athletic facilities and an addition to Sonny & Allegra Nance Elementary School in Fort Worth; safety and security items, such as replacing fire alarms at various facilities and purchasing new cameras, radios and security devices; and new technology devices and upgrades to network and communication infrastructure.