Trustees Call Bond Election For May 7
At their February 15 meeting, RISD trustees voted unanimously to call a $437.1 million bond election for May 7.
"Families are continuing to choose our community to educate their children," said Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner. "From the beginning of our bond planning process a year ago, we have been focused on what we believe is best for our students, and I am very comfortable that this bond package reflects that focus."
"We are asking the RISD community to continue their investment in our students to provide the tools, technology and facilities they need in order to help prepare them to be successful in their global world," said Board President Kim Caston.
The single proposition bond package is broken down into three main categories:
Maintenance of existing infrastructure, technology and equipment - $215.71 million
This category includes capital items that have reached or are expected to reach end of useful life by 2021. Examples include roofs, HVAC units, student & teacher computer devices, and equipment for instructional and extra curricular programs. This category also includes maintenance and upgrades of safety & security equipment such as cameras, alarms and fire protection.
Construction, capacity and renovation - $107.27 million
This category includes new construction of classrooms and capital expenses to increase classroom capacity to accommodate enrollment growth and address outdated design, including:
$59.74 million would construct 24 classrooms at Lake Highlands H.S., 21 classrooms at Richardson H.S. and redesign/renovate three 1970s-era schools, Aikin, Prestonwood and Yale.
$47.53 million would accommodate additional enrollment needs over the next five years, potentially including purchase of land, a new elementary school to address enrollment growth in the Lake Highlands area, construction of new classrooms at existing schools and/or purchase of portable classrooms. A community reflector group is expected to submit specific recommendations to the RISD board in April regarding measures to accommodate growth in the Lake Highlands area.
Enrichments - $114.1 million
This category includes items and construction to improve the overall educational experience of students and/or enrich the teaching experience for staff, including:
- $59.98 million - Multipurpose Activity Center at each high school
- $19.42 million - Technology enhancements for RISD classrooms
- $17.19 million - Transformation of libraries at each school to flexible learning environments
- $9.88 million - Additional Career Technology courses and JROTC program at each high school
- $6.13 million - Curriculum & Instruction materials
- $1.5 million - Enterprise technology (business information systems, servers, hardware)
If approved by voters, the bond package would increase the debt service tax rate by an amount not to exceed 8 cents, which equates to a property tax increase of approximately $138.95 a year ($11.58 a month) for an average residential home in RISD valued at $220,758.
Because it is among the few districts to still offer taxpayers a local optional homestead exemption, RISD currently has the third lowest tax levy among the 28 school districts in Dallas and Collin counties for residential homeowners. If the bond package were approved, RISD's tax levy would remain the third lowest for residential homeowners.
RISD will hold community informational meetings in each high school feeder pattern in March & April.
For more information about specific items included in the proposed bond, including a school-by-school breakdown, please visit the 2016 bond website.