Pearland ISD to spend $12.3 million bond surplus on security, maintenance, the Rig

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Pearland ISD trustees have approved spending $12.3 million in bond surplus funds, but three board members voiced opposition to further improvements to the district’s Rig football stadium.

At the Feb. 12 school board meeting, the board split two measures on the agenda into 12 individual voting items, all targeted to tap into an estimated $13.6 million in bond surplus funds.

“Our bond management team has done so well at underspending. This has allowed the board of trustees to add more projects,” Executive Director of Communications Kim Hocott said.

The original $220 million bond, approved in 2016, included a new press box, security and maintenance projects; the decision Tuesday night expanded these projects, Hocott said.

The projects include improvements to district security and heating ventilation and air conditioning equipment and replace the Turner High School and Pearland Junior High South fire alarm and the E.A. Lawhon Elementary School roof, as well as a Rig facade, totaling $2.7 million, and a new press box for the Rig, totaling $1.6 million. Security improvements totaled $2.4 million with maintenance improvements totaling $5.6 million.

Both motions to improve the Rig passed narrowly with four trustees for the improvements and three against.

“The user base for the press box expansion is minuscule in number compared to the user base in number compared to our population across the city of Pearland and across our user base in the district,” Trustee Crystal Carbone said. “For that reason, I cannot and will not support the expansion of the Rig press box tonight.”

Remaining bond projects include improvements to select elementary schools, which will presented to the board in March and are anticipated to wrap up in 2020, district director of facilities and planning Don Tillis said.

The district has not yet increased the interest and sinking tax rate to pay off this bond, but it is projecting a total tax rate increase no more than six cents over the course of the bond, down from the originally projected seven-cent tax rate increase, Tillis said. The Pearland ISD tax rate is $1.41560 per $100 in valuation.

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Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. In her tenure as a reporter, she has primarily written about education, health care and transportation.
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