Fort Bend ISD bond projects move forwardMany projects detailed in Fort Bend ISD’s $484.2 million bond program are moving forward this year to address overcrowding in the district’s schools as well as maintain existing campuses.

FBISD will break ground on four new elementary schools in 2016 and will continue installation of various enhancements to existing schools and programs to accommodate the growing student population.

“That takes long-range planning and you have to think ahead because you cant just snap your fingers and have a building pop up,” said Grayle James, president of FBISD’s board of trustees.

The district began construction on Anne McCormick Sullivan Elementary School—the first school to be funded by the 2014 bond program—in May and expects to finish construction on the other elementary schools by 2018, district officials said.

FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said the four new elementary schools would provide just enough new seats to accommodate the projected increase in students. FBISD is expected to see a 7 percent increase in student population by 2018, according to demographic firm Population and Survey Analysts.

Dupre said the addition of four new elementary schools by 2018 would still fail to keep up with the steady student population growth in the district. He said a future bond program would be needed to fund new elementary schools.

“We expect to need at least four to six more elementary schools in the next bond program to keep pace with the rate of growth at our elementary schools,” Dupre said.

FBISD is also constructing security upgrades to its existing 70 campuses. The district is expected to start installing new security cameras in late September. Dupre said the security enhancements to existing campuses will improve network operations.

Improvements to campuses also include $59 million in bond funds for enhancements to the district’s Career and Technical Education programs.

The district will hold public meetings over the next few months regarding the planning process for improvements to the district’s CTE programs.

“For students to succeed they must have a safe and secure learning environment that truly inspires,” Dupre said. “The community can expect to see the district continue to address existing deficits while planning ways to create a 21st century learning environment in each of our facilities, regardless of age.”