Education

Arlington considers four new schools as part of bond package

The Arlington ISD school board heard a presentation Aug. 1 on a possible $965.9 million bond. The funding from the bond would expand on work started by a 2014 bond, administrators said.
The Arlington ISD school board heard a presentation Aug. 1 on a possible $965.9 million bond. The funding from the bond would expand on work started by a 2014 bond, administrators said. jhartley@star-telegram.com

The Arlington school district is considering asking voters to approve a $965.9 million bond package to renovate and build schools, purchase school buses, and upgrade technology.

School district administrators do not expect increase the tax rate for the bond. But increases in property values could lead residents to paying a higher tax bill with or without a bond package. The school board will discuss the bond during its meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. Arlington school board meetings are held at 1203 W Pioneer Parkway, Arlington. Anybody wanting to speak at the meeting must sign up by 6:55 p.m.

The school district wants to address needs that were not covered in the bond issued in 2014.

Most of the money in the bond proposal goes into elementary schools. Four schools will be rebuilt: Carter Junior High, Berry Elementary, Thornton Elementary and Webb Elementary.

There are also plans to upgrade athletic fields and replace artificial turf. Multiple trustees said they would like to see a new softball field in the bond package.

Trustee Justin Chapa said he would like to see renovations for the district service center, which he said is in “dire need” of updates.

The district has a wait list for career technologies classes because of space limitations. Cindy Powell, the district’s chief financial officer, said the bond plan would expand introductory-level career technology classes and offerings at the district’s career and technical center.

A survey by Raymond Turco and Associates found that 70% of voters would support an approximately $970 million bond. Raymond Turco and Associates also did surveys for the 2014 bond election.

The 2014 bond election provided for updates to almost every school. It was supported by nearly 70% of voters.

Board members have until Aug. 19 to place the issue on the November ballot.

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