LISD's $198-million bond package proposed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LISD's $198-million bond package proposed will not increase tax rate

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - School board trustees heard a proposal for a $198-million bond election Friday morning that would change the face of Lubbock ISD without changing the tax rate. The bulk of the money for phase one would go to make capital improvements at campuses district-wide, and upgrade arts and athletic programs. It would also make the campuses safer and update technology.

Families shop around for school districts, so the 2020 committee's job is to make recommendations, which will keep Lubbock ISD, competitive."We saw the nuts and bolts of the district," said committee co-chair Mitch Watson.

After eight months of research and walking each campus, the 2020 committee unveiled $198-million worth of plans."It was important for us not to focus on one area or one program or one facility," said Watson.

"It's about taking care of our investment and just making sure our teachers have the tools they need," said LISD Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza.The tools to attract students, and their families.Committee co-chairs Mitch Watson and Laura Vinson told the board many schools campuses are decades old and need basic improvements, like new air conditioning systems, restroom upgrades and parking lots.

"We've got to get our hands around safety and security and get it to acceptable level of our peer groups," said Watson.

Phase one would also consolidate four schools into two, Isles and Wheatley and Haynes and Murphy which would save the district $10-million up front, and an additional $2.5-million each year."This can all be accomplish with a zero percent tax increase," said Watson.  

First Southwest Company works with school districts across the state, and their advisors told the board phase one improvement would not change the tax rate."It's very unusual for a school district in Texas to be able to take on any amount of debt with no tax increase whatsoever," said George Williford First Southwest Company.

"Recognizing these are tough economic times for families so to be able to consider it without tax increase is appropriate and provides a unique opportunity," said Garza.

The 2020 committee says the cost associated with phases 2,3 and 4 are unknown, but advisors do predict the tax rate would more than likely change with additional bond elections. The school board will meet next Tuesday, if they approve the recommendation for the bond election, the every child every school political action committee will start campaigning for votes for the November 2nd election.

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