Voters approve $1.89 billion Houston ISD bond

November 7, 2012 4:31:47 AM PST
Voters have approved a nearly $2 billion Houston ISD bond package intended to fix, rebuild or move outdated, dilapidated facilities.

The bond $1.89 billion will provide upgrades to 38 schools in the district. It includes 20 new campuses for aging high schools like Madison, Bellaire, Lamar and Yates. It also seeks to build three new elementary school campuses. The bond also calls for $100 million in technical improvements across the district.

"Houston voters sent a message today that all children, regardless of where they live, deserve to attend quality school in quality buildings that offer our great teachers the tools they need to prepare students for a successful future," HISD board president Michael Lunceford said in a prepared statement. "The new schools that will be built because of this vote will benefit today's students, their future children, and even their grandchildren."

Voters should see a $.0485 tax hike by 2017. That equates to about $70 a year for the average taxpayer.

The district says design work on the new schools would begin in early 2013 and construction would start in 2014.

"When this work is finished, Houston will boast the most modern portfolio of urban high school campuses in America," HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said in a prepared statement. "For years, HISD has been a national model for other urban school districts that are striving to simultaneously close the achievement gap while raising the level of achievement of all students, including the highest performers. Thanks to Houston's voters, we will finally have quality campuses to fully support our students' strong academic progress."

The details of the bond are outlined below (info from HISD):

Provide new campuses for 20 high schools:
Austin
Bellaire
Davis
DeBakey
Eastwood
Furr
High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Jordan
Lamar
Lee
Madison
Milby
North Early College
Sam Houston
Sharpstown
South Early College Sterling
Washington
Worthing
Yates

Partially replace four high schools:
Waltrip
Young Men's College Prep Academy
Westbury
Young Women's College Prep Academy

Renovate four high schools:
Jones
Kashmere
Scarborough
Sharpstown International

Convert five elementary schools into K-8 campuses:
Garden Oaks Montessori
Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion School at Gordon
Pilgrim Academy
Wharton Dual Language School
Wilson Montessori

Build three new elementary school campuses:
Askew
Parker
Relief school on the west side

Replace/complete two new middle school campuses:
Grady (new addition to complete new campus)
Dowling (new campus)

In addition, the proposed measure would include funds that would improve conditions for students in all HISD schools. Those proposals include:
$100 million for district-wide technology improvements
$42.7 million to replace regional field houses and improve athletic facilities
$35 million to renovate middle school restrooms
$17.3 million for district-wide safety and security improvements

See the full details of HISD's bond proposal on their website, HoustonISD.org.

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