At the meeting on Jan. 13, the Citizens Advisory Committee presented to the Friendswood ISD board of trustees with a recommendation for a bond containing district-wide improvements. The bond recommendation totaled $128 million, with improvements suggested for five of the six campuses.
Brandon Kinsey, a presenter for the committee, said that district demographic projections for the next few years were a significant focus for the committee.
“We are under a moderate growth cycle and we’ve been on that path for some time,” Kinsey said. “Within the next two years we’re going to be at capacity at some of our campuses, and that was something we felt strongly about.”
To make room for student population growth, the bond recommends classroom additions for Westwood Elementary School, Bales Intermediate School and Windsong Intermediate School, as well as a completely new Cline Elementary School. It also suggests several renovations and additions at Friendswood High School, including a Fine Arts addition and locker room renovations.
Other aspects of the bond proposal are district-wide safety and security improvements and technology improvements.
The presenters emphasized the importance of a replacement for Cline, referencing possible safety concerns they noticed on a tour of the district’s campuses.
“I blindly, as a resident, assumed that we had the best facilities in the world,” committee presenter Paul Sellers said. “It became real clear that as soon as we started with Cline that they are not always the same.”
Some board members expressed the need for a bond.
"The last bond issue was 12 years ago. We may have waited too long but now is the time. The board has been very judicious in how we spent our money, but now is the time," board member Rebecca Hillenberg said.
The original expectation for the bond price proposal was $125 million, but committee members felt strongly that to best serve the students, it was necessary to exceed that number. The final amount will be voted on by the trustees.
The committee was made up of 44 community members, including students, parents, teachers and business owners. It held eight meetings from September to December to determine the best plan to accommodate the needs of Friendswood students, Friendswood High School junior Meghan Flanagan said. Flanagan was one of the presenters for the bond at the board meeting.