Report: Tomball ISD bond projects progressing

Tomball ISD Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross presented a construction update to the TISD board of trustees during a workshop meeting Feb. 10. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball ISD Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross presented a construction update to the TISD board of trustees during a workshop meeting Feb. 10. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tomball ISD Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross presented a construction update to the TISD board of trustees during a workshop meeting Feb. 10. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

Editor's note: Tomball ISD officials clarified the cost of the Tomball Memorial High School expansion and construction of a district stadium. District information previously said the costs of the two projects were identical at a total budget of about $48.28 million and a construction budget of about $42.1 million. The district updated the costs of multiple bond projects on its website Feb. 11, some of which differ from the presentation given to the board of trustees Feb. 10. Updated costs are included below.

Tomball ISD Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross presented a construction update to the TISD board of trustees during a workshop meeting Feb. 10, noting that all construction projects funded by the district's $275 million bond referendum are at or under budget. Voters approved the bond referendum in November 2017.

The bond referendum included funds for a new elementary school, a new junior high school, a district stadium and community center, and wastewater and water treatment plants to be located at a district educational complex at Cypress Rosehill Road and the Grand Parkway. Funds were also allotted for an expansion to Tomball Memorial High School, entrance renovations at Tomball Intermediate School, construction of a Tomball Memorial High School aquatic center and construction of a Tomball High School agriculture science project facility, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

Ross said residents can follow construction progress by visiting the district's Bond 2017 webpage, which includes live camera feeds of construction at the district complex.

"Some of the projects have been more challenging than others, but that's OK. In the end, it's all getting done and I can't say on time, but under budget or at budget," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said during the workshop.


Elmer & Dorothy Beckendorf Complex

Despite facing delays caused by permitting and land access, Junior High School No. 4 is on track to open in August 2021, Ross said during the workshop. The school was previously set to open in August 2020, but district officials announced in April the opening had been delayed a year, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.

The total budget for the project—which includes all the costs of opening the facility—is $50.95 million, including a construction budget of $43.56 million, according to the presentation. Ross said the school's foundation is complete, and the steel structure is being erected.

Grand Oaks Elementary, also under construction at the district complex, is anticipated to open ahead of the upcoming school year in August 2020.

"I feel confident that we'll make that," Ross said during the workshop. "Everything is rolling right along with Grand Oaks Elementary. ... [Crews are] aggressively going after this project."

The total budget for this project is just over $28.61 million, which includes a construction budget of $24.29 million, according to district information. Ross said the steel structure has been erected, and exterior wall framing is ongoing.

Crews are also expected to begin construction in late February or early March on a wastewater treatment plant and water treatment plant planned to serve the facilities at the complex, Ross said. While the plants are anticipated to be fully complete by August 2021, Ross said portions of the plants will open in time to serve Grand Oaks Elementary. The total budget for the two treatment plants is $7.91 million, including a $4.71 million construction budget for the wastewater treatment plant and a $1.99 million construction budget for the water treatment plant, according to the presentation.

A 10,000-seat district stadium and community center is also under construction at the complex and set to open in August 2021, a delay from the original August 2020 timeline. Final plans including value engineering changes—changes to materials—have not been completed, Ross said, and concrete work has been delayed because of the incomplete structural plans. However, crews are constructing retaining walls for the stadium, he said.

The total budget for the stadium is about $48.28 million, including a construction budget of $42.53 million, according to district information.

Furthermore, site development for the complex itself is anticipated to be complete in August 2021, Ross said.

"We've had a lot of issues as far as with the property. That was the permitting and the land purchase," he said.

The district is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a permit and wetland mitigation, but all Harris County permits except one relating to traffic have been received, Ross said.

Other facility projects

The bond referendum also includes an expansion of Tomball Memorial High School. Phases 1 and 2—an athletic addition—are underway, Ross said.

“You’ll see the contractor work on all four sides of the building," he said.

The total budget is $45.85 million, including a $38.2 million construction budget, according to district information.

Renovations to Tomball Intermediate School are set to be complete in August 2020, Ross said. The first construction meeting for the project was held Feb. 4. The project has a total budget of $2.64 million, including a construction budget of $2.1 million, according to district information.

Construction is underway on an aquatic center for Tomball Memorial High School, estimated to open next January, Ross said. The project has a total budget of $13.52 million, including a construction budget of $11.22 million, according to district information.

Students at Tomball High School will see an agriculture science project facility open in May or June, Ross said. The project has a total budget of $7.08 million, including a construction budget of $5.86 million, according to district information.

Upcoming items

The board of trustees will consider taking action on several bond-related projects during its Feb. 11 meeting. Trustees will consider approving the name for Junior High School No. 4, granting a drainage easement across nearly 7.99 acres at the district complex, authorizing the bond sale of the remaining $125 million, and purchasing 13 buses—with seatbelts—totaling $1.37 million, according to meeting information.
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By Anna Lotz

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.


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