Tomball ISD calls bond for new schools, renovations

Schools proposed in northeast and south

In response to a surge of growth in the northeast and southern regions of Tomball ISD, the district has called a bond election this month to pay for four new schools and renovations at all existing schools.

The $160 million bond, which will be voted on by residents May 11, would help the district as its student population grows by 3,700 students in the next five years, according to district projections. There are currently 11,700 students in Tomball ISD.

"It's a direct result of one thing: explosive growth," said Huey Kinchen, the district's deputy superintendent. "Where our growth is most prevalent is the northeast portion of our district and in the south. The whole Northpointe area is growing very rapidly. All three of those schools are rapidly approaching capacity. It's not a want; it's a need."

Tomball ISD is the fastest growing school district, based on percentage, among seven counties surrounding Houston, including Harris, Chambers, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Fort Bend and Brazoria counties, Kinchen said. There are 51 public school districts in those counties.

"A lot of that is being driven by strong business growth," said Ken Odom, a school board member and chairman of a citizen's committee to advocate for the bond. "Exxon is moving into the northeast part of our district, and there's a lot of development in the south part of our district. The influx of population is really the core driver behind our bond."


The bond would also fund renovations at all of the district's 12 schools, including new technology, security upgrades and additional school buses, district officials said.

"Every school will benefit from the bond," Kinchen said.

The bond includes renovation projects at Lakewood and Decker Prairie elementary schools to upgrade the front administration areas and the cafeterias.

Timber Creek and Creekside Forest elementary schools would be renovated to move sixth grade from the campuses and alter the schools to a K-5 instead.

In addition, the bond will include money to help with traffic congestion relief at Tomball Junior High School and Northpointe Intermediate.

The bond would provide money for facility improvements district-wide, including upgrades to air conditioning, heating, lighting, roof replacement, paving, and other electrical, mechanical and plumbing projects, district officials said.

Tomball ISD commissioned a 17-member Facility Planning Steering Committee last fall to look at possible improvements to accommodate the growth.

The committee presented its findings at a public forum Jan. 28. The steering committee recommended the bond to the district's Board of Trustees, which unanimously approved the proposal.

"I have every confidence the money raised on this bond is absolutely needed," said Michael Pratt, a Tomball ISD school board member. "Your board is extremely conservative. I have all the confidence our communities will support it. I think our communities will recognize the growth issue."

The new schools, which will cost $110 million, include an elementary and intermediate school in the southern area of the district.

In addition, an elementary and a junior high would be built in The Woodlands to help with growth at area elementary schools and Tomball Junior High. The need for these schools is based on growth projections through the 2018–19 school year.

"We looked critically at the next five years," Kinchen said. "We need to be prepared to meet that growth."

Although Creekside Forest Elementary is the only school exceeding capacity this year, projections show Canyon Pointe Elementary and Northpointe Intermediate school exceeding capacity in 2014, Willow Creek Elementary and Tomball Junior High School in 2015, and Timber Creek campuses in 2016.

The steering committee—which is composed of TISD staff, parents, local business leaders and other district patrons—looked at future developments, number of rooftops and number of lots available for development in determining enrollment at each campus through 2018.

The committee arrived at an estimated total of $168,296,726 for all necessary improvements. In addition to the new schools, the district has set aside $30 million for additions and renovations to existing infrastructure and $28 million for improvements to transportation and technology.

Also in the bond, Tomball ISD is proposing renovations at the district stadium track and the installation of field turf at the stadium. Field turf would also be added at Tomball Memorial High School. The plan includes adding new weight rooms at each junior high school as well.

Other improvements include the installation of security vestibules at the main entrance of campuses that do not already have them. The district also plans to add a second agriculture project barn.

"Tomball ISD has a thriving and growing FAA program," Odom said. "We are expanding our capacity to take in animals so we can make sure everyone can participate in that."

Tax Rate

The district would avoid going over a tax rate of five cents per $100 valuation on the bond, steering committee chair Rick Pritchett said. The average homeowner in the district-based on the average home cost of $100,000-would pay roughly $50 a year in added taxes.

Voters who are over the age of 65 won't have a tax increase.

Tomball ISD said the renovation and construction costs are all estimates at this point and may need to be adjusted after the design process.

The board has a history of spending less than estimated in previous bond elections.

"From a total taxation point of view, TISD has very low taxes, among the lowest in the state," Odom said. "We haven't increased our main operation tax rate in over five years."

The last successful bond election was held in May 2007 for $198 million to fund four new schools and the district's administration building, among other renovations. All the projects were completed within budget, Kinchen said.

"We will not use those [new bond] pennies unless they are needed," he said. "Our goal is to go under. We are a very transparent school district."

The Tomball Chamber of Commerce's board of directors unanimously voted in April to support the bond.

"We are really seeing the fruits of [TISD's] work—people relocating to this area because of education," said Bruce Hillegeist, president of the chamber.

Additional reporting by Shawn Arrajj


Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures, located at 23101 Hwy. 242, New Caney, is launching a series of new rides throughout the rest of this year, with most of the new attractions opening to the public by Nov. 26. (Courtesy Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures)
Big Rivers Waterpark & Adventures in New Caney set to add 11 new attractions

The new portion of the theme park dubbed Big Rivers Fairgrounds will feature 11 amusement park rides, including a spinning rollercoaster, a rocking pirate ship, a 360-degree spinning pendulum and several attractions for children.

The county’s team would aid adult victims of sexual assault and streamline response operations, the DA’s office said. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office presents plan for sexual assault response team

The county’s team would aid adult victims of sexual assault and streamline response operations, the DA’s office said.

A conceptual rendering shows what a high-speed rail station in Dallas could look like. A final design on the station has not yet been released. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Reversing course, Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case

In the Oct. 15 order granting a rehearing, the Supreme Court set a date of Jan. 11 to hear oral arguments.

The amended version of the planned development unit will now go to the Austin Planning Commission for review. (Rendering courtesy Austin Environmental Commission)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Austin commission OKs development plan near Lady Bird Lake; shopping center coming to Porter and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 15.

Through most of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of apartments were offering some kind of concession as a way to entice renters. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Rising apartment rent continues to be trend in Houston region

​​​​​​​According to data from, Houston has seen an average 12.8% rental rate growth in the past year.

The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program has helped local families avoid eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Harris County evictions trending up as federal moratorium ends

More than 1,200 eviction cases were filed in Harris County the week of Sept. 20—the highest weekly number since before the pandemic.

The Smoking Joint is now open under the umbrella of Click Click Chew virtual food hall in Cypress. (Courtesy Kirsten Gilliam)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: More restaurant, retail space could be coming to north Frisco development; Locatelli’s owners launch virtual food hall in Cypress, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 14.

Montgomery County Emergency Services District No. 10 will host its first of three community meetings Oct. 16. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Tomball Bluegrass Festival, Cactus Jack's Campfire: 7 events in Tomball and Magnolia Oct. 15-16

Other events this weekend include local high school football games, a fall frenzy and the seventh annual Cactus Jack's Campfire.

Todd Stephens has been superintendent of Magnolia ISD since July 2009. (Photo courtesy Magnolia ISD)
Q&A: Magnolia ISD Superintendent Todd Stephens provides update on academic year 2021-22

With additional staff and more than 500 new students in Magnolia ISD, Superintendent Todd Stephens said he feels optimistic about the academic year.

Jimmy Rogers co-founded Boots for Troops, a Magnolia-based nonprofit, in 2015 with his wife, Lindsey, following Jimmy’s deployment with the U.S. Navy. (Courtesy Jimmy Rogers)
Get to know Jimmy Rogers, co-founder of Boots for Troops, as annual Concert in the Country fundraiser approaches

Concert in the Country is the main fundraiser for Boots for Troops, a Magnolia-based nonprofit organization, and is scheduled to return Oct. 16. The event garnered about 3,200 attendees last year.

Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services officials announced a new collaboration with medical technology company Siemens Healthineers to offer lab-quality, point-of-care blood analysis testing in the field. (Courtesy of Cypress Creek EMS)
Cypress Creek EMS, Siemens Healthineers partnership brings prehospital blood analysis to patients

Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services officials announced a new collaboration with medical technology company Siemens Healthineers to offer lab-quality, point-of-care blood analysis testing in the field, according to an Oct. 12 news release.