GISD VOTERS APPROVE BOND PROPOSITIONS

November 6, 2013
 
Granbury ISD Bond  

Voters offered strong support for two Granbury ISD bond propositions in the November 5, 2013, election with the primary initiative garnering almost 57% of the vote.

“We are very appreciative of the confidence from the community for this bond proposal. With this vote in favor of this initiative, we will move forward with transforming the high school, enhancing CTE and fine arts programs, ensuring the safety of all campuses, building a robust technology infrastructure for model classrooms, and many other improvements. Thank you to GISD voters for making this happen,” commented GISD superintendent Dr. James Largent.

“Last night was the culmination of over a year of work by many people and groups, and the children in Granbury will benefit greatly for decades to come. I believe this was truly a game changer for our district and community,” he continued. “I want to thank our GISD school board, because without their unanimous support and vote to call the election, none of this would have ever happened. They have remained committed to doing what is best for the kids in Granbury, and it is a pleasure to work with them.”

Unofficial results provided by county election officials show the following vote totals, which will be canvassed by the school board on November 18:


Hood

Johnson

Parker

Somervell

Total

Bond Proposition 1

For

3733

6

10

3

3752

56.57%

Against

2838

3

34

5

2880

43.43%

Bond Proposition 2

For

3905

6

16

5

3932

59.78%

Against

2613

3

27

3

2646

40.22%

In August, the GISD Board of Trustees unanimously called the $84.975 million election. The bond package, composed of two stand-alone propositions, addresses improvements to existing campuses, some of which were originally built forty years ago, and infrastructure, provides technology for students and teachers, creates facility equity across the district, increases security, and provides space for future growth.

Over 70 percent of the bond will go toward extensive renovations and additions to GHS. Currently, all ninth grade students are housed in a separate campus with no direct access to a comprehensive high school curriculum, including hands-on career tech programs. Combining the two campuses into a single high school will eliminate the need to transport students back and forth between campuses for extracurricular programs. The district is proposing to add ninth grade to the high school campus and renovate this facility to extend its life another 50 years.

Proposition One: $81,972,000

Major Renovations and Additions to Granbury High School: $62,295,000

• Create a complete high school campus for Grades 9-12 by building a Ninth Grade classroom addition

• Construct new classrooms for career- and technical-focused (vocational) programs such as health science, culinary arts, engineering, automotive technology, audio/visual production, welding, and technology courses to prepare students for careers, higher education and industry recognized certifications.

• Renovate and expand existing fine arts spaces to accommodate growing programs and the addition of ninth grade students to the campus

• Reconfigure internal classroom layout for educational and operational efficiency

• Extensive renovations to transform the building’s interior and exterior 

Safety and Security Upgrades: $4,338,000

• Create controlled entrances on all GISD campuses

• Construct attached gymnasiums at Acton and Emma Roberson Elementary Schools to replace freestanding gyms, create a more secure campus and make equitable to all GISD elementary schools

Technology Upgrades: $10,800,000

District-wide investments to support a 1 to 1 student technology initiative, with the ability to grow with increased student needs and educational standards:

• New standardized technology for every GlSD classroom, including interactive and mobile learning devices

• District-wide wireless internet capability enhancements

• District network operations improvements

Other District-Wide Improvements and Investments: $4,539,000

• Classroom furniture, bus and band equipment replacement

• Repurpose of Crossland Ninth Grade Center for Central Administration

Proposition Two: $3,003,000

Refunding Existing Debt for Energy Efficiency Projects

• Refunding of existing maintenance tax notes used to fund recent energy efficiency upgrades related to HVAC, lighting and water controls during the Spring and Summer of 2013

Tax Impact: The estimated tax impact of this bond is anticipated to be 15 cents per $100 valuation for a total tax rate of $1.295 per $100 valuation. For the average home value of $113,695, this represents an increase of approximately $14.21 per month.

Voters Over 65: Under state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older may not be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65, regardless of changes in tax rate or property value, excluding the value of any new improvements, such as additions or renovations, that increase the value of such homesteads.

“Our job now will begin by sitting down with our architects at Huckabee and begin to detail our strategy, timeline, and game plan to implement this package,” remarked the superintendent. “We have a lot of work to do in the next couple of years, but when this facilities project is complete, I have no doubt it will, for many years, become a visible reminder of the transformation of GISD.”

The district’s financial advisor with BOSC Inc. previously outlined a plan for the sale of bonds in January or February 2014.

Huckabee will assist district officials with the design and planning process, which will continue through October 2014. Safety and security upgrades are expected to be complete by the opening of the school year next August. The high school transformation will be done in phases with the building finished to host grades 9-12 in August 2016. Once the school projects are done, the Crossland facility will be repurposed as a district administration complex.

The bond package was developed and unanimously recommended by a Bond Steering Committee, which represented a cross section of the community, including local citizens, civic and business leaders, parents, and school staff. 

“From our first education summit, to our strategic design team, facilities action team, and bond steering committee, we had many different groups of committed people who worked hard to come up with a solid proposal,” Largent stated. “In the end, our community saw that what we were asking for is needed, and they decided to make an investment in the future. It is always a difficult proposition to ask someone to raise their own taxes, but our community showed that they support what we are doing in a big way.”