Do you have a question about the November 2nd Bond Election? If you do, please call (512) 943-1890 or e-mail your question to Bond2010@GeorgetownISD.org. Questions of general interest, and their answers, will be posted to this page on a regular basis.
What is a bond and why do we have elections?
- Homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home. A school district borrows money in the form of bonds to finance new schools and renovation projects. Both are repaid over time, but in order for a school district to sell bonds, it must go to the voters for approval. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses or salaries.
What is the amount of the bond?
- Georgetown ISD is proposing a school bond issue for $137.3 million. The bond addresses the need for new schools to manage continuing growth and the need to improve existing schools.
When is the bond election?
- The election is scheduled for November 2, 2010.
How can bond funds be used?
- Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions, and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel, and insurance.
How were the items for this bond determined?
- A Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (CBAC) comprised of a diverse group of parents, business leaders, retirees, and community members, met bi-weekly to help develop a recommendation for the GISD Board of Trustees. Over the course of the meetings, the CBAC studied and evaluated the district student growth projections, the practical student capacities for each campus, and GISD programs. Following a tour of district facilities the CBAC determined the district’s need for significant additions and renovation of the 35-year old Georgetown High School, the relocation of Richarte High School and the construction of a warehouse to be located at the Support Services Facility. Due to continued student growth, the committee recommended that the district complete Phase 2 of East View High School and build a larger replacement campus for McCoy Elementary. The current McCoy facility will serve the district as a centralized location for administrative staff which is currently located at multiple school campuses throughout the district. McCoy will be re-purposed to serve as a professional development, meeting and training center. The committee also reviewed demographic reports showing campuses will be at capacity by the 2013-14 school-year prompting the inclusion of Elementary #11 and Middle School #4. Another recommendation as a result of the committee’s work was the inclusion of technology and security upgrades throughout the district and the purchase of future school sites.
How will the Bond Package affect my property taxes?
- The total projected tax increase is $0.1020 cents, which equates to approximately $198 annually for the average homeowner ($191,644 home) in GISD. These figures represent the maximum tax increase the district proposes to complete all projects included in this bond. Depending on continued growth in the tax roll, construction costs, interest rates, and other factors, the tax increase could be less.
What if I ’m 65 or over?
- School taxes on primary residences are frozen in the year that a taxpayer turns 65 years of age and will not increase as a result of this school bond election. The dollar amount you pay in the year you turn 65 will not increase as long as you live in the home and do not make major improvements. It is important to note that seniors must request this status to qualify.
I thought the 2005 Bond took care of building the second high school. Why is it included in this bond?
- Although we attempted to clearly communicate our plans during the last election, we understand that there has been some confusion over this issue. Phase 1 of the district’s second high school, Georgetown East View, was included in the 2005 bond package. Although Phase 1 included several major components of the campus, such as the cafeteria, library, gymnasiums, and practice fields, it only included the functional capacity to serve 800 students. It was opened as the district’s second ninth-grade center. Phase 2 of East View High School is included in the 2010 bond package and would expand the high school to a functional capacity of between 1,800 and 2,000 students. The core components (library, cafeteria, etc.) were constructed to serve the campus at its finished capacity, which may have caused some of the confusion. Under the proposed bond, the campus will be completed by fall of 2012.
I’ve heard a rumor that the district is already re-drawing boundary lines for the second high school. Is that true?
- No. The district will not even begin the process of re-drawing boundary lines until next year. There may have been some confusion because district administrators have been discussing the completion of Phase 2 of the Georgetown East View High School as part of the 2010 bond package. However, boundary line discussions are quite a way down the road, so any rumors you may have heard are simply speculation at this point.
Has the district already selected a site for the $1.5 million land acquisition item included in the bond?
- No. The district is still looking for property and has not yet found a particular site. However, plans are to find a combination elementary/middle school site.
When will Elementary #11 be needed?
- Demographic projections show that the district will need to open Elementary #11 in the 2013-2014 school year.
If Elementary #11 isn’t needed until 2013, why is it included in this bond?
- It takes two years to design and build an elementary school. If the bond passes, the district has a waiting period before bonds can be sold and funds secured to begin the construction process
What is the basis for the decision to complete East View High School at this time?
- The GISD Master Plan completed in early 2005 did indicate that a full second High School in the District would not be needed, based on enrollment trends in 2005, until between 2010 and 2012. The Board of Trustees did continually study updated enrollment trends at the High School in 2007 and 2008. Based on those trends and the economy in 2008 the Board decided to wait as long as possible to ask for additional tax support from the Georgetown community. Additional capacity is needed by the start of school in 2012.
How soon will the East View High School Phase II be completed and how does that impact the schedule for the proposed work at Georgetown High School?
- The District is committed to expediting the completion of Phase II at East View. With bond support, the schedule is to complete the project before the start of school in August 2012. The work on the HEX at Georgetown High School can not be started until East View provides additional capacity for grades 9 – 12.
How were the estimated costs for the work at East View High School determined?
- A detailed program and cost estimate for the completion of Georgetown East View High School was completed and reviewed with both the GISD Board of Trustees and the 2010 Bond Citizen’s Advisory Committee. The cost estimate prepared, based on that detailed program, included not only money to construct the additional buildings needed but also escalation dollars and funds to purchase furniture, fixtures and equipment for the completed facility.
How big will the proposed warehouse be and what will it be used for?
- The warehouse will be approximately 10,000 square feet in size. The warehouse will be used for: central receiving for all GISD deliveries; bulk supplies; surplus furniture clearinghouse; copy paper, text books, etc in conditioned storage space; student assessment testing material in conditioned and secure store room, and space for summer text book receiving and inventory (currently using bus maintenance bays)
For More Information
Would you like to schedule an informational presentation about the November 2nd Bond Election for your civic club or organization? If so, please call (512) 943-1890 or e-mail Bond2010@GeorgetownISD.org