Northeast Tarrant

Carroll trustees study possible bond for 2017

Carroll Superintendent David Faltys read to students at Johnson Elementary last fall. Crowding at Johnson and several other schools is addressed in the future bond recommendations.
Carroll Superintendent David Faltys read to students at Johnson Elementary last fall. Crowding at Johnson and several other schools is addressed in the future bond recommendations. Courtesy

Carroll trustees are considering a possible bond in 2017 to address big-ticket maintenance needs, ease crowding at the elementary level and upgrade facilities and infrastructure.

School board members heard a report at the June 6 board meeting from the Capital Needs Planning Committee (CNPC) outlining $300 million in potential projects, with a recommendation to address about $230 million in items in the next few years.

“Many of the projects we recommended are maintenance,” said Todd Carlton, co-chairman of the CNPC. “It’s been eight years since our last bond, and that’s probably too long for a district like ours.”

The CNPC—a group composed of close to 40 parents, staff and community members—met for nine months to assess district-wide needs and develop a list of recommendations for the board to consider.

Included on the list were $54 million in maintenance for building projects, foundation and structural work, remodeling and canopies, $37 million for technology infrastructure improvements, $28 million for mechanical, electrical and plumbing repairs and replacements, $25 million to add classroom space at the elementary level and $24 million for a new fine arts center.

Carlton said that committee members preferred building a sixth elementary school to making additions at existing campuses, but they acknowledged it might not be financially feasible. Adding another school would increase the annual budget for staffing and maintenance.

Board President Christopher Archer said the next bond would impact every student without being extravagant.

“We’re not asking for a McKinney stadium,” Archer said, referencing a $62 million sports complex approved by McKinney school district voters last month. “We’re asking to make our facilities adequate for our students.”

Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations, said May 2017 would be the earliest a plan would be ready for voters to consider.

Scott Wrehe, assistant superintendent of financial services, said adding about 2 cents to the tax rate would cover a $230 million bond. Carroll’s current debt rate is 36 cents.

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