HISD has broken ground on almost all of its projects from its $575 million bond referendum approved by voters in May 2018, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. According to the board presentation from Jan. 26, 13 projects will be completed this year, with the remaining seven set to wrap up in 2022.
With the 2018 bond referendum heading toward completion, HISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen said at the Jan. 26 meeting that the district estimates it can take out a future $500 million bond referendum without raising the district's property tax rate. HISD officials said in a previous interview that they are considering a bond election in May 2022.
"We would be able to continue with safety, growth and renewal in Humble ISD for all children, maintaining the current tax rate with $500 million in new projects," she said.
Fagen said HISD will form its citizens bond advisory committee this fall, which will help decide which projects could be placed on the bond package. Some potential future bond projects could include replacing Foster Elementary School and Ross Sterling Middle School, installing second gyms at middle schools, improving daylighting for multiple campuses, adding virtual learning studios and an early childhood center, Fagen said.
"One of the things that's come up is—perhaps over by River Pines [Elementary]—an early childhood center would alleviate some crowding in those area schools, which will experience growth in the next few years with the development of Harmony Cove and a few other areas," she said. "If we take those early childhood programs into an early childhood center, we generate additional classroom space at our current facilities and don't require [us] to build another elementary school."
HISD has encouraged department leaders and principals to create a prioritized list of projects they would like to see completed in a potential future bond referendum.
"Obviously, safety items are going to get the highest priority, and then from there we want items that are necessary and also aligned to the goals and vision of the district," Fagen said.