Arlington schools will consider placing $965.9 million bond on November 5 ballot

The Arlington school board will decide Tuesday whether to place a $965.9 million bond on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Administrators do not expect to increase the tax rate for the bond. The district would rebuild Carter Junior High, Berry Elementary, Thornton Elementary and Webb Elementary and close Roark and Knox elementary schools.

Money would also be used for renovations to accommodate state-mandated pre-kindergarten classes and to upgrade playgrounds, gymnasiums and athletic fields.

The schools the district plans to replace average 61 years old. The campuses were built to last 50 to 70 years, Cindy Powell, chief financial officer for the district, said at the Aug. 8 board meeting.

Board member Bowie Hogg said the need for the bond is demonstrated in the condition of some of the schools.

Texas requires school districts to offer pre-k classes to students from low-income families, with the state picking up the bill. The cost to make the schools ready falls on the district. Many classrooms will need bathrooms and appropriate furniture for pre-k students.

Other items in the bond include new school buses and money to maintain and fix equipment.

The playgrounds that will be replaced under the bond will be ADA accessible and covered by a canopy to combat heat. The district also plans to create two playgrounds at elementary schools: one for lower elementary classes and one for upper classes.

The board meeting will start at 5 p.m. at 1203 W Pioneer Parkway, Arlington.

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James Hartley is the Arlington city government reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He is passionate about local politics, true stories, movies and baseball. He has worked for the Tyler Morning Telegraph, D Magazine and the Dallas Observer. You can connect with James on Twitter @ByJamesHartley or Instagram @JamesTakesPhotos. Want reporters like James to help you stay informed about your community? You can help the Star-Telegram continue to offer great local, political, sports and culture news by purchasing a digital or print subscription today.