Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the recommended bond package totals $230 million. The story previously stated the recommended bond package totaled $145 million.
The Magnolia ISD bond committee—which was made up of parents, community members and business owners—recommended a $230 million bond package to the board of trustees at its May 16 meeting.
The bond would not change the tax rate for residents, and the recommended projects by the committee include a ninth elementary school costing $41 million, a third middle school costing $66 million, a third junior high costing $85 million, and $10 million toward land for future schools, according to the meeting presentation.
With a tax rate of $1.1872 per $100 valuation, the bond proposal would have the lowest tax rate for Magnolia in 20 years, according to the meeting presentation.
Besides new facilities, the bond committee recommended improving current facilities and programs. This includes funds for expanding the career and technical education program at both high schools, renovations to the agricultural barn facility, renovations to the Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps facility, technology infrastructure, and turf on the softball and baseball fields, according to the presentation. Priority maintenance needs as well included in the bond are heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, roofing, and refurbishing three water and two wastewater plants.
According to the presentation, demographics information projects Williams and Smith elementary schools are over 90% capacity and will be over capacity in two years, and a third high school will be needed in five years.
Community Impact Newspaper previously reported in January the district would surpass 20,000 students by the 2030-31 academic year.
In addition to facility and program needs, transportation needs are also on the table to keep up with district growth, according to the presentation. The bond proposal included $2 million for new buses, with a current fleet of 146 buses serving around 7,000 students daily. With five new bus routes added this school year, there are currently no spare buses for field trips or extracurricular activities, according to the presentation.
The bond committee and board of trustees will discuss data related to the bond over the summer; Board President Chuck Adcox said this bond is the first of two different bonds coming in the next three to four years for the district.
District officials did not share a timeline during the May 16 meeting for when a bond referendum may be called; however, according to the Texas Secretary of State's website, trustees would need to call a bond referendum no later than Aug. 22 to place it on the November ballot.