Voters pass bond for New Braunfels ISD
Two new schools and renovations to others will be funded under the $118.3 million plan
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.