Northside ISD Calls for Largest Bond in District’s History

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A Northside Independent School District school bus is parked at Tom C. Clark High School.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A Northside Independent School District school bus is parked at Tom C. Clark High School.

San Antonio’s largest school district is proposing its largest bond ever. Northside Independent School District, a fast-growing district that has added more than 40,000 students in the past 16 years, will ask voters to approve a bond of nearly $849 million in a May 5 election.

The bond will fund four proposed campuses to accommodate student growth on the west side of the district. Roughly $280 million of the proposed amount will contribute to the construction of a new high school near Galm Road, a middle school in the Kallison Ranch area, and two new elementary schools, one of which would be located near Farm-to-Market Road 471 North and the other in the Village at WestPointe North area.

The district’s board of trustees voted Tuesday night to call for a bond election. NISD Superintendent Brian Woods estimated that roughly one-third of the bond funding would be directed to new schools with the remaining two-thirds dedicated to updating the district’s existing 119 campuses.

“One thing I would add on it is that the board historically has tried very hard to maintain all the old facilities and that we try really hard to have equity in our district,” NISD Board President M’Lissa Chumbley said about the breakdown of funds.

The Northside Independent School District board calls for the longest bond in the history of the district.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

The Northside Independent School District board room is full as it calls for the longest bond in the history of the district.

Some of those updates would include infrastructure, roofing, safety and security, and technology. In addition, the bond package would put funding toward additional transportation resources.

The Citizen’s Bond Committee, which helped determine a list of projects for the bond proposal, was comprised of volunteers living in the district. The committee agreed almost unanimously on most projects presented on the final bond proposal. Woods said the main subjects of disagreement came on a proposal to update the main playing field of each high school to synthetic turf and whether or not to include shade structures on the playgrounds of all the elementary schools. Ultimately, trustees decided both were important to include in the bond.

The district initially sent out a little more than 400 invitations to sit on the bond committee. At any given committee meeting, between 250 and 300 volunteers attended, district spokesman Barry Perez said.

Voters will be able to decide on the bond question on a May 5 ballot. In the days leading up to the bond election, the district plans give presentations detailing which bond projects would impact individual schools.

The district projects that with an $848.91 million bond, the average homeowner with a home value of $264,869 would see a cumulative monthly impact on his or her property tax bill of $22.19, totaling $266.28 annually. This estimate assumes home values will increase 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.

Woods said that in the last seven fiscal years, the district has not seen a tax increase.

“This is not a fluff bond. This is something that we need as a district,” Trustee Gerald Lopez said. “This is a necessity.”

6 thoughts on “Northside ISD Calls for Largest Bond in District’s History

  1. I was on the bond committee. There were very few items that committee members had an option to vote for. The bond committee was nothing more than smoke and mirrors to make it appear the district got public input. Voters need to realize when the district says these are “conservative numbers” they mean they’ve padded the budget to ensure they have enough to complete the projects. Case in point the fine arts building and auditorium under construction at Holmes HS cost $29 million. So why is the proposed auditorium for Jay HS budgeted at $48 million? Structurally Jay’s auditorium should be cheaper because it’s on flat land. Voters also should be asking what the district does with the “savings” from these bonds. The last bond had $30million + in savings…rather than fixing roofs and A/C at old schools the district built a new gym. This makes their claims of caring about older campuses disingenuous at best.

  2. Yes, you did hear correctly. The money (about $10 million) will go to installing bullet resistant materials in 44 elementary school lobbies. Money from the 2014 bond already did this for 30 elementary campuses. Any new elementary campuses are built with this in place.

  3. Northside IS D is. Joke!
    They waste so much money during the school year. 70% of my property tax goes to Northside. Some departments lost Hugh some of money last year. Some departments are on a cod account with vendors. Some times it can take up to months to get equipment fixed. Ever6 time a bond passes my property tax goes up. Or they just don’t get fixed at all and hope nobody gets hurt.
    Some departments are over staff while other departments are way under staff. I don’t know about Teachers wages but most of the other departments are underpaid.
    Northside needs to be better stewards of the money they already get from state, feds, and property tax goes.

    • Good grammar. 🙂

      When people look to purchase a home, they will typically look at the schools their children will be going to. Run down schools will drive buyers away so, over time, property values will decrease. So in essence, better schools will increase your property value.

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