Hays CISD school board knocks more than $15 million off proposed bond

At last nightu2019s meeting, the board of trustees managed to knock the proposed bond back down to $250 million by eliminating or reducing several projects.

At last nightu2019s meeting, the board of trustees managed to knock the proposed bond back down to $250 million by eliminating or reducing several projects.

At the Hays CISD school board meeting Monday, Trustees made finishing touches on the 2017 bond they’re expected call to election next week.

The board based their decisions on recommendations made by the Growth Impact Committee, a group of citizens who examined district needs and prepared a list ranking projects by necessity. The committee’s recommendation would cost just over $265 million, higher than the $250 million discussed by the board when the possibility of a bond first came up.

But at last night’s meeting, board trustees knocked the proposed bond back to $250 million by eliminating the item for construction of a 100,000-square-foot administrative services facility that would have cost $15.5 million.

The board of trustees elected to remove six bays from the proposed transportation facility, a move that could save the district $1.2 million. The board also agreed to allow just over $1.9 million from the general operating fund balance to be used.

Any savings on various other projects would go back to pay down the bond, the board decided.

“We heard from our constituents, and we acted on it,” board Vice President Sandra Bryant said. “Bringing it down another $15 million is a big deal. So I can go back out into the community and say, ‘We really worked hard and tried to lower the bond. We heard you.’”

After hearing testimony from parents and community members, the board of trustees decided to move a proposed $3.6 million baseball and softball complex into the bond. Previously, it was listed by the growth impact committee as an item that wasn’t pressing enough to be included.

If approved, the proposed May 6 bond would be for $250 million, the board agreed, and it would be split into two propositions. The first would be nearly $189 million for what the growth impact committee said are the three most important projects: the third high school, a 14th elementary school and a school building to replace the existing Buda Elementary School campus. The second proposition would be for just over $60 million and include every other project.

The board will vote on whether or not to call for the proposed bond at its next meeting Feb. 13.

“It’s been a long road, but I think this $250 [million] level, it’s something that the community can support,” District 2 trustee Willie Tenorio said. "I think it’s something that is more likely to receive support from the community. I think we should pat ourselves on the back that we got through this.”

If the bond is called next week, it will appear on the May 8 ballot.