Vot­ers pass bond for New Braun­fels ISD

Two new schools and ren­o­va­tions to oth­ers will be funded un­der the $118.3 mil­lion plan

San Antonio Express-News - - METRO - By Liz Teitz LTeitz@ex­press-news.net | @LizTeitz

New Braun­fels In­de­pen­dent School District vot­ers have ap­proved a $118.3 mil­lion bond that will fund new mid­dle school and el­e­men­tary school cam­puses and clear the way to open a sec­ond high school in the fast-grow­ing district.

Ac­cord­ing to the district, $83 mil­lion will be used for the two new schools, while an ad­di­tional $13.9 mil­lion will fund ren­o­va­tions at ex­ist­ing cam­puses. Bond money also will pay for se­cu­rity up­grades, trans­porta­tion, tech­nol­ogy and ath­letic fa­cil­i­ties.

The pack­age ap­proved Tues­day is the largest in the district’s his­tory, spokes­woman Re­becca Vil­lar­real said.

It drew the sup­port of 68 per­cent of vot­ers, a slight de­crease from the 70 per­cent that ap­proved the most re­cent bond pro­posal, in 2015.

The district has not had to raise its prop­erty tax rates to pay off new debt from pre­vi­ous bonds, and “we’re op­ti­mistic that we’ll be able to con­tinue that pat­tern,” Vil­lar­real said, be­cause of on­go­ing growth and ris­ing prop­erty ap­praisals in the district. A rate in­crease of up to 4 cents per $100 of ap­praised value is pos­si­ble over the next four years but could de­crease based on pro­jec­tions, she said.

New Braun­fels ISD’s en­roll­ment has in­creased by more than 10 per­cent since 2013, ac­cord­ing to Texas Ed­u­ca­tion Agency data, and reached about 9,100 stu­dents this year.

“The projects in­cluded in this bond pro­gram will ben­e­fit our youth and our com­mu­nity for decades to come,” Su­per­in­ten­dent Randy Moczygemba said in a state­ment.

The district will use bond money to build a new cam­pus for New Braun­fels Mid­dle School, to open in Au­gust 2021. The cur­rent NBMS build­ing will be used for ninth-graders.

The ex­ist­ing Ninth Grade Cen­ter will be de­mol­ished and re­placed with a new el­e­men­tary school, ex­pected to open in Au­gust 2023, for cur­rent Carl Schurz El­e­men­tary and Seele El­e­men­tary stu­dents.

If en­roll­ment con­tin­ues to in­crease and high school en­roll­ment pro­jec­tions reach 3,000, the district will open a sec­ond high school at the cur­rent New Braun­fels Mid­dle School lo­ca­tion. That will likely en­tail pass­ing an­other bond, Vil­lar­real said.

The $6.6 mil­lion of se­cu­rity up­grades that will be paid for with bond money in­clude in­stal­la­tion of bal­lis­tic glass film at cam­pus en­tries, cam­eras at all el­e­men­tary schools and other work for re­cep­tion ar­eas and doors.

The district held com­mu­nity fo­rums on school safety last spring af­ter shoot­ings in Florida and Texas and de­cided to in­clude the larger in­fra­struc­ture projects that were rec­om­mended in the bond pack­age, Vil­lar­real said. Other changes, such as the ad­di­tion of school re­source of­fi­cers at se­condary schools, will be paid for with money from the district’s gen­eral fund.

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