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PISD board approves bond election

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, July 29, the Pasadena Independent School District’s board of trustees approved a bond election, set to take place Nov. 4 with early voting Oct. 20 through Oct. 31.

The board approved the 2014 bond package based on the recommendation of the Future Facilities Committee, which has engaged in conversations with the board, staff and community since September 2013.

PISD Superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis presented the board with the recommendations in a school board workshop on July 9 and again July 29. The $175.55 million no-tax-rate-increase bond election will provide replacement campuses, new campuses, additions to existing campuses, new technology and facility management.

“The Future Facilities Committee’s recommendation is actually a completion of the needs identified for the 2011 bond,” Lewis said. “To avoid a tax increase, we couldn’t include all the recommendations at that time. This package provides new campuses for future growth. It adds classrooms at existing high schools to address the crowding. And we will expand our Early College High School program at all five high schools after successfully piloting the program at Pasadena High School. We will be able to replace campuses built in the 1950s and 1960s. And finally, this bond will provide technology needs.”

The district’s financial advisors have determined that the $175.55 million proposition can be accomplished with no tax rate increase.

The board has historically encouraged frugal management of district resources. As a result, the district has been repeatedly recognized. For the past five years, the Texas State Comptroller’s office has recognized PISD with a Gold Leadership Circle Award for budget transparency. This year, the comptroller honored the district with a new Platinum Leadership Award to recognize efforts of going above and beyond to show financial responsibility, ensure financial records are freely accessible to the public and meet an optimum level of financial transparency. PISD was one of only 12 school districts in Texas to receive the new platinum financial transparency award.

Proposed projects

• Dobie High School ninth-grade campus
• Rayburn High School Early College High School wing addition
• South Houston High School Early College High School wing addition
• Memorial High School Early College High School renovation (L.P. Card Center)
• Career and Technical High School Expansion wing addition
• Intermediate School No. 11 (Riverstone Ranch area)
• Elementary School No. 36 (Minnesota at Almeda Genoa)
• Replacement campuses for Mae Smythe, L.F. Smith and Pomeroy
• New technology
• Facility management

The proposed Dobie ninth-grade campus would cost roughly $32.7 million to construct. The campus, which would house around 1,000 students, would be built off-site and allow the Early College High School and Odyssey to be housed in the main building. Removing the first-time freshman class would reduce the 2018-19 projected enrollment on the main campus to 3,100.

To be located near the Riverstone Ranch subdivision, the proposed Intermediate No. 11 would cost approximately $29.5 million to construct. The campus would provide enrollment relief to Thompson, Bondy and Beverly Hills intermediates based on projected numbers.

Costs

• Replacement campuses $60.5 million
• New campuses $46.1 million
• Campus additions $54.45 million
• Facilities management $2.5 million
• Technology $12 million
• Total package $175.55 million

Additional details are available on the PISD website at www.pasadenaisd.org.

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