2006 bond interest funds athletic improvements

Installation of artificial turf at the main stadium field at Lake Travis High School began in May as the school uses undesignated 2006 bond interest funds to improve various athletic facilities.

The $2 million project, which was approved at its Jan. 26 regular meeting, also includes improved seating and drainage at the high school tennis courts, upgraded field lighting and new bleacher seats at the school's baseball field and some other minor projects.

The money comes from Lake Travis ISD's remaining interest earnings from the district's 2006 bond program.

"It is imperative that we make a clear distinction between our recently approved 2011 bond referendum and the 2006 bond program," LTISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Lancaster said in a news release. "These interest earnings are the result of a favorable market during the first few years of the 2006 bond program, when rates of return were between 4 percent and 5 percent. The 2011 bond is a completely separate package."

The 2006 bond program has earned approximately $9.3 million in interest, according to Johnny Hill, Lake Travis ISD assistant superintendent for business, financial and auxiliary services.

"The majority of those interest earnings have been used to cover inflationary costs of construction associated with the projects that were specified under the 2006 bond program," Hill said in a news release. "Subsequently, all projects have been completed, and there is approximately $2 million in interest earnings available for the athletic upgrades."

Other maintenance projects that are funded through the 2006 bond interest earnings include drainage improvements at the main stadium field; replacement of the press box and sound system at the main stadium; and replacement of scoreboards at the main stadium, the upper track stadium and the baseball and softball fields. The interest will also cover new freshman lockers at the Cavalier Activity Center and any other work deemed necessary.

The projects are scheduled to be completed for the start of the 2012–13 school year, and Austin-based Pfluger Associates Architects L.P. will provide the necessary architectural and engineering services for the athletic facilities.

"Pfluger provided architectural and engineering services for LTHS expansion and improvements that were included in the 2006 bond program, and have the background knowledge about the facilities on this campus that will allow them to proceed immediately," said Jim Ratcliff, LTISD senior director for facilities, construction and auxiliary services, in a news release.

SET Engineering Inc. of Mansfield, Texas, will handle the drainage improvements and installation of artificial turf at the LTHS main stadium field.

"Overall, these improvements will have a direct impact on our entire extracurricular program offerings," said Gary Briley, LTISD director of extracurricular programs, in a news release. "The installation of artificial turf at our main stadium field will allow our programs like band, baseball, cheer, cross country, dance, football, golf, and soccer to expand and use the facility year-round for skill and drill-conditioning work."

Construction on the athletic improvements began in April.