Looking back at the 2007 Leander ISD Bond

Looking back at the 2007 Leander ISD Bond
Posted on 10/25/2017
Superintendent's Column

Superintendent's Column 

With early voting started for the Leander ISD bond proposition addressing growth, safety, and facility improvements, it is an excellent time to reflect on the history of the last bond program, approved by voters in 2007.

Leander ISD built seven schools to accommodate 11,828 new students during that bond program, including Akin, Camacho, Reed, and River Ridge elementary schools, Stiles Middle School, and Glenn and Vandegrift high schools.

The Board of Trustees intended the 2007 bond proposal, totaling $559 million, to last three years, accommodating for rapid growth, averaging about 3,200 students per year. In December 2007, a month following the election, the subprime mortgage and housing crises occurred, launching the United States into the Great Recession.

In light of the Great Recession, enrollment growth in Leander ISD continued but slowed. Construction prices dropped as well, allowing LISD to stretch approved funding. This change allowed the Board of Trustees to assess the district’s needs and adjust as needed.

While building the seven new schools, Leander ISD also constructed secure vestibules at all elementary schools, expanded career and technical education classroom space at high schools, and constructed Gupton and Monroe stadiums, serving thousands of student-athletes and performers, as well as their families. With a focus on transforming instruction, the 2007 bond also allowed middle and high schools to launch a one-to-one technology initiative, mLISD, to support learning in the 21st century.

Throughout the 2007 bond program, Leander ISD adjusted its financial strategies, refinancing its debt to save $464 million in interest.

Thanks to a forward-thinking Board of Trustees and administration, Leander ISD purchased property for nine schools, including the four schools featured in the current bond package. The district will use the additional five sites for future projects, allowing the Board of Trustees to place schools and facilities in optimal locations.

The district plans for the current bond proposal, totaling $454.4 million, to last four to five years, constructing four news schools to support a fast-growth community, anticipating 4,800 new students.

For the current bond proposal, early voting opened on Oct. 23. It will continue through Nov. 3, with the election on Nov. 7. Travis and Williamson County residents can vote early at any location within their county. Please visit www.leanderisd.org/bond2017 for more details or the county websites for polling locations.