BISD school board to vote on bond
Monday, 19 March 2012 by David Tuma
After months of work the Belton ISD school board will hold a meeting March 1 to vote on a $60 million bond election to be held in May.
The district is growing by an average of 300 to 350 students a year. Projected enrollment at Belton High School and at the elementary level will reach capacity in 2013.
The long range planning committee held three workshops in January and February and with input from all areas of the Belton Independent School District came up with a plan to meet the needs of the district. The bond package includes two elementary schools. One to built in or near Temple in the fall of 2013.
A second elementary school will be built in the southern part of the district in Belton in 2014. There will also be constructed a middle school in or near Temple to replace Belton Middle School. BMS will be used to expand the capacity of Belton High School by around 900 students or somewhere near that figure in 2014.
The total impact of the bond package is 11.7 cents per $100 valuation. The Long Range Planning Committee chose the $60 million package to lengthen the time between bond issues.
Construction cost and interest rates are at historical lows. The package is one of the largest the district has chosen to pass but one of the main reasons behind it is the cost to the district over the long haul should be lower.
Since 1997 the district has passed five bond issues and for one every one that passed the estimated cost to tax payers was lower than projected.
"This bond election should handle the growth of the district in terms of new construction for 6-8 years. This should hold true if the growth of the district remains as projected. It allows the high school enrollment to expand. Building a new high school is expensive. To duplicated BHS is estimated to be around $80 million. The new junior high school is not a high school. When we build a new high school the Belton Middle School campus will go back to being a middle school," said Eric Haugeberg Assistant Superintendent Finance and Operations.