FORT BEND ISD (Covering Fort Bend News) – Fort Bend ISD voters approved a $992.6 million bond package Tuesday, amounting to the largest bond program in the district’s history. According to the unofficial results, 74 percent of Fort Bend ISD voters supported the bond proposal. Projects included in the bond referendum included funding for the construction of new schools and classroom additions, safety and security enhancements, renovations to address maintenance and adequacy throughout the District, and transportation and technology.
The district currently serves more than 76,000 students, with enrollment expected to reach 85,700 by the year 2027.
“The approved 2018 Bond Program marks a significant investment in the future of Fort Bend ISD, and will support achievement of our mission and vision. I am thankful for the community’s ongoing engagement and support on behalf of our students,” said FBISD Superintendent of Schools Charles Dupre. “While a large portion of the program is allocated for the construction of new schools, our community has also shown a willingness to ensure that our current students at existing schools throughout the district have the same access to quality learning environments, safe spaces and technology resources. We are excited to move forward on this important work.”
The FBISD Board of Trustees called for the November 6 bond election at its August 13 Board Meeting.
The bond package included:
- $403.4 million for new construction, rebuilds and additions
- $396.5 million for life-cycle deficiencies and facility adequacy, including auditorium updates, orchestra hall additions, and turf and track updates at many schools
- $14.9 million for safety and security upgrades and investments
- $10.6 million for transportation
- $142.6 million for technology
- $19.7 million for future land purchases
- $5 million for program contingency
Notable projects included in the bond package include construction of three new elementary campuses, the design of one middle school, construction of one high school, the rebuild of Lakeview Elementary and Meadows Elementary, and additions at Madden Elementary and Neill Elementary. While the successful bond election will not necessitate any immediate change in the tax rate of $1.32, a potential three penny increase may be needed during the duration of the three-year program, with the earliest increase not anticipated until 2020.
Following voter approval of the $992.6 bond program, Fort Bend ISD will now begin a concerted and expedited process to move forward on the projects included in the bond program. Construction is already underway on Elementary 51 in the Aliana community, and the district has engaged architects to begin designing a new Lakeview Elementary and Meadows Elementary, to be built at their current sites.
“The passage of this bond comes on the heels of the 2014 Bond Program – and we are excited to be able to build upon its success,” said Board President Jason Burdine “As a district, we have learned many lessons that will lead to a more deliberate and efficient program delivery. Our community members want to see progress at their school quickly – and we look forward to making these projects a reality and keeping our stakeholders informed along the way.”
A Bond Oversight Committee made up of community members of various backgrounds will meet on an ongoing basis throughout the program’s delivery to receive updates and provide oversight of the projects included.