Politics & Government

Tarrant County College’s $825 million bond proposal wins approval

Voters on Tuesday night approved Tarrant County College’s proposed $825 million expansion.

In unofficial results, 60.19% of voters across Tarrant County were in favor of allowing the community college district to issue up to $825 million in bonds to cover construction costs for campus expansions.

Supporters of the community college say the bond funding will allow the school to meet the needs of a student population that has exploded to roughly 99,500 students.

Tarrant County College leaders were watching results late Tuesday and were cautiously optimistic that the bond question would pass, said spokesman Reginald Gates. However, those officials did not want to comment until the result was more clear, he said.

Tarrant County election officials were still counting results as of 10:25 p.m.

Nearly one in 20 Tarrant County residents takes a class at the college, which in addition to classroom instruction also offers job training for nurses, police, firefighters and engineers.

The money would be used to expand campuses, build new facilities, and renovate others.

It’s the first bond election for Tarrant County College (originally known as Tarrant County Junior College) in 25 years.

The bond package includes something for each of the college’s campuses.

The Southeast campus, for example, is pegged to receive $125 million for the construction of new buildings and the renovation of others. That campus, originally built for about 5,000 students, has about 12,000 students and has used modular classrooms to accommodate everyone.

The Northwest campus near Loop 820 and Marine Creek Parkway, between Saginaw and Lake Worth, is scheduled to get $308 million for a makeover of its 1970s structure. College officials are working with the Fort Worth school district’s leadership to create a college-focused high school at the campus.

Most of the college’s funding comes from property taxes, which amount to about 13 cents for every $100 of property valuation. Tarrant County college officials said they will will pay for the bond program without raising that tax rate.

TCC also has a Northeast campus in Hurst, a South campus near Interstate 20 and Campus Drive in south Fort Worth, a Trinity River campus in downtown Fort Worth and many other smaller locations spread across the county.

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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.
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