Editor's note: this story has been updated with comments from the city of Montgomery's city administrator and details on a related upcoming Montgomery City Council meeting. It has also been updated to correct the name of Montgomery High School.

Four Montgomery ISD projects funded by the district's $326.9 million 2022 bond are facing potential delays, district leaders told the board of trustees on Feb. 20.

What’s happening?

In mid-November, preconstruction work on MISD’s career and technical education, and agricultural science centers—located along Lone Star Parkway between Buffalo Springs and Plez Morgan drives—began, as previously reported by Community Impact. To receive project permits from the city to complete the rest of the needed work on the projects, MISD could be required to complete $160,000 in waterline upgrades and $185,000 in landscaping, Chief Operations Officer Kris Lynn said Feb. 20.

On Jan. 23, the board approved the guaranteed maximum price of $65.3 million for construction costs on the district’s CTE and ag centers, which are estimated to cost a combined $80 million total, as previously reported by Community Impact. The buildings—measuring a combined 189,000 square feet—are scheduled to be completed in July 2025.

“We need a permit,” Lynn said. “We are out there doing work on our site that we're allowed to do at this point without a permit, but we are rapidly running out of work that we can accomplish without a permit.”

The district has requested a landscaping variance, which is supposed to go before the city’s planning and zoning committee in March, Lynn said.

According to the city

In a Feb. 23 email, Montgomery City Administrator Gary Palmer said he understands MISD's "push back" to the city's requirements, as they would be " very expensive," but added the requirements are part of city ordinance that all projects need to comply with.

"The waterline extension is needed for continuity in our water infrastructure and for future development in that area," Palmer said in the email. "It either gets done now by MISD or not long from now by the city, depending on economy/development, so it makes sense to me to have it installed and extended while the property is torn up not after its developed. ... With regard to tree preservation, that’s common sense in 2024. You need to preserve or replant for many environmental and aesthetic reasons. This project is also along the Town Creek stream bank so this intensifies the need for ground cover and stabilization."

Montgomery City Council will be holding a discussion-only workshop at 7 p.m. Feb. 27 covering the project requirements for MISD's CTE and ag center.

Also of note

Renovations at Stewart Creek, Lone Star and Madeley Ranch elementary schools have been delayed from their planned construction start date this summer, Lynn said. The designs for the projects have not been finalized since the district opened the projects for construction manager at-risk bids twice but received zero applicants.

“Now, that's not a statement about people not wanting to work in MISD,” Lynn said. “We have to be mindful that this was a time when a lot of other bond projects were coming out from bond elections that had been had a little more recently than ours.”

District leaders hope to complete the three elementary school projects by summer 2025.

Items worth mentioning

According to meeting presentation materials, other major bond project updates include:
  • The designs for renovations at Montgomery High School were completed Feb. 5, and a guaranteed maximum price will be presented to trustees in March, Lynn said.
  • The designs for the district’s transportation renovations—which include detention and parking improvements at the district’s Liberty transportation facility—were completed Feb. 15.
  • Creekside Elementary and the Lake Creek High School addition are each about 60% completed and expected to open July 18.
  • Renovations at Montgomery Elementary are about 95% completed and expected to wrap up March 31.