Tomball ISD officials agree to put $160 million bond proposal on May 11 ballot

February 20, 2013 2:55:36 PM PST
When voters in Tomball and parts of The Woodlands head to the polls in May, they'll be asked to decide on a bond proposal to pay for new schools and school improvements in Tomball Independent School District. The price tag: $160 million dollars.

In the booming northern suburbs of Houston, the houses are going up fast and new families are moving in almost as fast as those subdivisions are going up.

The city of Tomball grew more than 18 percent between 2000 and 2010. Tomball ISD, which sprawls across the city of Tomball and into The Woodlands, grew as well.

"Tomball's school district is a very well-known school district," parent Gayle Demmy said.

The district is projected to continue to grow by 3,700 students in the next five years, so the board Tuesday night agreed to put a $160 million bond proposal on the May 11 ballot.

Demmy said she isn't sure which way she'll vote.

"Nobody really likes their taxes to be raised, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do for the schools," she said.

District officials refused to talk to us on camera Wednesday about the bond proposal, but a letter to parents from the district says the $160 million would go toward four new schools, new support facilities like a second agricultural barn, new school buses, technology upgrades, district-wide facility improvement for things like heating and lighting, security and renovations.

Timber Creek Elementary School and Tomball Junior High are two of the campuses that would see some kind of renovation. Timber Creek opened last fall.

But while Demmy isn't sure yet, other taxpayers within Tomball ISD say they don't want to pay more.

"I don't think much of it because we pay enough taxes as it is now," Margaret Lehman said.

"Right now, I'm not interested in paying any more taxes or any or bond money," Cheryl Roby said.

And in May, the bond proposal's success or failure may well depend on what voters think of the price tag.

"I think the school system is fine," Lehman said. "I think they've got enough taxes. They can use the money they have."

To put this in perspective, voters in Houston ISD passed a $1.9 billion bond in November and Klein ISD passed a $650 million bond in 2008.

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