Voters in the Mansfield school district approved a $198.5 million bond Tuesday for improvements to all 42 campuses, including demolishing and rebuilding five elementary schools.
According to complete but unofficial returns late Tuesday, the measure passed 55 percent to 45 percent.
The bond package will increase the district's tax rate from $1.496 to $1.54 per $100 of assessed property value, adding $59 per year to the tax bill for a $150,000 house.
Some opponents questioned the need to demolish and rebuild schools, and others weren't sold on the need to finance the improvements through a bond proposition.
Minor renovations, repairs and construction of two elementary schools will likely begin in the spring, district spokesman Richie Escovedo said.
"Some of the renovations that could begin would take place in evening hours, some of the wiring and networking," he said. "Massive renovations would have to be done in the summertime."
Almost $69 million will go to demolish and rebuild five elementary schools, which will begin this spring, Escovedo said. Construction could begin in March or April on Judy Miller Elementary, which was approved in the 2006 bond, and on a new Tarver-Rendon Elementary School on the north side of Retta Mansfield Road between Farm Road 2738 and Scandia Lane.
"Fourteen to 16 months from when those campuses start, we would see the first wave of campus moves," he said. "J.L. Boren [Elementary] would move into Judy Miller [at Waterford Glen Drive and Holland Road] in the fall of 2013."
The current J.L. Boren building will be demolished and rebuilt on the same site. As soon as the new Boren is done, students will move back in.
"If it happens in the middle of the year, we would move them back," Escovedo said. "We wouldn't wait until the following year."
Students from Glenn Harmon Elementary will then move into the Judy Miller campus while Harmon is demolished and rebuilt, followed by students from Charlotte Anderson Elementary.
On the west side of town, after Tarver-Rendon students move into their new campus, students from Alice Ponder Elementary will move into the current Tarver-Rendon campus while Ponder is demolished and rebuilt. After the new Ponder building is completed, the current Tarver-Rendon will be demolished and the site used for a future intermediate school.
"When it's all said and done, we're looking at 41/2 to five years" to complete the new schools, Escovedo said. "Then you have Judy Miller opening up as Judy Miller, where we will need it in five years."
Also included in the bond package are third gyms at Summit and Mansfield high schools, second band halls at Cross Timbers and Mary Orr intermediate schools, and a concession stand at Summit High. Concession stands will be replaced with concession/storage/field houses at Worley and T.A. Howard middle schools.
The package also includes wireless Internet at every campus. Only some campuses have wireless areas now, Escovedo said.
The $60 million Lake Ridge High School, under construction at 101 N. Day Miar Road, will get security cameras and keyless-entry updates, as will every other school. Several older schools will also have renovated entrances to require visitors to come through the office before entering. Other safety and security upgrades include fire alarms, lighting, awnings for special-education students waiting for buses and irrigation for playgrounds.
The rest of the bond funds will be spent on updating and replacing aging equipment and facilities, including plumbing, roofing, air conditioning and carpet.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451