A bond election this year, however, is “highly likely,” according to district officials.
“The last bond that the district did in 2018 was Phase 1 of two phases,” FBISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck said in a May 12 interview with Community Impact Newspaper. “The second phase was to be this past fall in 2021, but because of the administration change as well as COVID[-19] there was not an election in 2021.”
Over 70% of voters approved the 2018 bond referendum, the largest bond program in FBISD history, according to the district website. Funding for the construction of new schools and classroom additions; safety and security enhancements; renovations to address maintenance and adequacy throughout the district; and transportation and technology were several of the needs targeted in the bond, according to the district website.
Other projects were also included in the bond, such as the construction of three new elementary campuses, the design of one middle school, the construction of one high school, the rebuild of Lakeview Elementary School and Meadows Elementary School, and additions at Madden Elementary School and Neill Elementary School.
However, more than three years later, the district’s needs have not diminished, Whitbeck said.
“All those needs, like roofs, HVAC systems and the growth in the district, have not changed,” Whitbeck said. “Those items are still out there, so I think it’s highly likely that we would recommend to the board to call a bond election in August.”
Approval from the FBISD board of trustees would be required to call a bond election for November. To be able to put a bond before the voters in November, the board of trustees would need to approve a call for a bond by Aug. 22, according to Texas state law.
Should the district move forward with the bond election, officials believe a bond could be approved without a tax rate increase.
The board of trustees adopted an ad valorem tax rate of $1.2101 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2021-22 on Sept. 20, 2021.