Leander ISD Board calls for November 7 bond election

Leander ISD Board calls for November 7 bond election
Posted on 08/18/2017
Board calls for November 7 Bond election


Voters in Leander ISD will have an opportunity to decide on a $454.4 million bond program to address enrollment growth, as well as safety enhancements and building improvements for existing facilities.

The Leander ISD Board of Trustees unanimously called for a bond election during their regular meeting to fund four new schools, expand Vandegrift high school, improve school facilities across the district, add Career and Technical Education (CTE) facilities at high schools and refresh outdated technology.

A Bond Advisory Committee (BAC), made up of 155 community volunteers, reviewed and prioritized projects throughout the year, leading up to Thursday night’s action. A steering committee presented a recommendation during the Board’s June 15 regular meeting and the Board worked with administration to hone the recommendation throughout the summer.

If voters approve the initiative, the District will maintain its existing tax rate of $1.51 per $100 valuation.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the bond committee and staff for their work,” Board president Pamela Waggoner said. “This has been a vetted process through multiple layers to prepare the best package for students, educators and voters.”

Leander ISD’s last bond election was in 2007. Since that election, the district grew by 11,828 students. Enrollment growth will continue by about 1,200 students per year as builders place new homes throughout the city of Leander.

“After a thoughtful process of assessing the needs for Leander ISD, our goal as an administration will be to provide information to our voters,” Superintendent of Schools Dan Troxell, Ph.D., said.

With voter approval, LISD will build elementary schools 27, 28 and 29, as well as middle school #9. In addition to design, construction and furnishings for those four new schools, the bond addresses additional growth with proactive funding for design and land purchases.

If voters approve the item, teachers and students across the district will receive new technology through replacement of outdated devices and districtwide infrastructure upgrades, totaling, $38.7 million.

The bond addresses crowding at Vandegrift High School (VHS), which will exceed 2,800 students, with a new building and expanded grandstands at Monroe Stadium. Through the bond, VHS would get an additional building with 14 new classrooms, increasing capacity from 2,400 to 2,900 students.

The proposition includes $3 million for design and mitigation costs tied to the construction of an access road to improve safety into Vandegrift and Four Points Middle School.

During the meeting, Trustees discussed the BAC recommendation, ultimately deciding on a package that reduced the technology budget for the bond by $9 million, including a $6.6 million reduction in infrastructure funding for fiber cabling and $2.4 million for projects not needed in the next four years. Trustees added optional items from the BAC recommendation, including $6.9 million for agriculture facilities at Vandegrift and Glenn high schools, $674,132 for renovations at the Leander High School agriculture facility, $872,109 for additions to the JROTC building at Vista Ridge High School, and $1.1 million for Career Technical Education (CTE) classrooms at Vandegrift and Vista Ridge high schools.

Early voting will run from Oct. 23 through Nov. 3. Election day is Nov. 7. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 10.