Updated: $609.2M bond for Katy ISD placed on fall ballot

Updated 9:51 p.m.

The second school bond in three years will be on the ballot this November for Katy ISD voters. The board of trustees unanimously approved a $609.2 million package Monday.

The package contains about $433.7 million for new schools and facilities, including six new schools and new portable classrooms. The single biggest ticket item in the bond is a $206.1 million ninth high school with an attached competition-sized natatorium.

Three new elementary and two new junior high schools are also proposed in the bond, which the district said was necessary to accommodate KISD enrollment growth in coming years. The district’s bond committee presented to the board of trustees that KISD had 77,627 students enrolled this year and that the student body is projected to grow 8.3 percent to 84,066 students by 2020.

“[Katy High School] really got no relief from Paetow [High School] opening up,” Superintendent Lance Hindt said.

Board President Ashley Vann said after Monday's meeting that like other KISD high schools, Paetow High opened only with ninth and tenth graders.

Paetow High, along with Stockdick Junior High School and Bryant Elementary School, opened Aug. 16 and were approved in the 2014 bond. From the 2014-15 to 2016-17 school years, KISD grew by 7.2 percent, according to Texas Education Agency reports.

“My vote on this action item tonight is to give [the public] the power to tell us what kind of community they want,” trustee Rebecca Fox said.

Hindt said the district needed a ninth high school as KISD’s existing eight are at or close to capacity. The new high school is proposed for the Cross Creek Ranch area in Fulshear.

In addition to new schools, the 2017 bond includes upgrades to existing facilities, transportation, safety and security, and technology needs. KISD is not planning to raise its tax rate to help pay for the bond.

The election will be held Nov. 7.