Wednesday night the SISD Board of Managers voted to ask voters to approve a $64.7 million bond proposal to be placed on the May 2, 2020, ballot.
The funds will go towards building two new elementary schools to accommodate the growing population in SISD. A recent demographic report provided by Templeton Demographics commissioned by SISD shows the district gaining 200 – 250 students per year for the next three to five years. The affordable housing boom in the Mission De Lago and surrounding areas is contributing to the growth. Homes are being built near the TJ Maxx distribution area and in the Lonesome Dove subdivision off Loop 1604 south near Matthey Middle school among several other areas in the district.
The Templeton demographic study shows that the school district will see 170 to 240 new home closings annually over the next three to five years. Currently, SISD has just under 5900 students; based on the Templeton projections SISD is looking at around 7,200 students by school year 2029-30.
The first school, expected to cost about $30 million, will serve as a new campus for Pearce Elementary and overflow for Gallardo Elementary. The new Pearce will be built on 25 acres donated in the Mission Del Lago subdivision. The old Pearce building will be assessed and repurposed at a later time.
There will be no school tax rate increase to fund the construction of the first new elementary. SISD’s Chief Financial Officer, Stan Osborne, says the current property values and current tax rate will be enough to cover the costs associated with the sale of the bonds for the first school.
The second school expected to cost a little more than 30 million dollars will be built closer to Espada road near the TJ Maxx Distribution Center. The land in that area was also donated. Osborne says the district plans to determine whether a school tax rate increase will be needed when the district is ready to build the second elementary school which will likely be in 2022- 2023 or sooner depending on the population growth for the Espada Development.
Using “conservative” numbers to estimate future property tax value growth and tax collection rates, Osborne estimated the second phase of the bond could result in a 3-cent property tax rate increase to Southside residents. This increase would only go into effect when the second phase of bonds are sold.
The scheduled meeting will be published on the SISD website, Facebook and fliers will be sent out with parents.