Plainview ISD proposes $76.62 million bond for school facility changes

KCBD Evening Newscast 6 p.m. Plainview bond proposal 8/15/2019

PLAINVIEW, Texas (KCBD) - The Plainview ISD Board of Trustees has sent a bond proposal to the November ballot, requesting voters decide on $76,620,000 in changes to the campus landscape of the district.

District officials say the decision for a bond election comes after a Facility Condition Assessment and several months of Community Planning Committee meetings, deciding on facility, security and technology needs. That committee consisted of teachers, parents, business leaders and other school and community officials.

“We gave them the opportunity to say what they would like to see in the school district, what they would like to see in the buildings, how we would better comprise our facilities to better instruct our students," Chief Operations Officer Dr. Ricardo Garcia said. “Looking at our elementary schools and doing the condition assessment, it showed our elementary schools were of the most need, the most aged buildings in the district.”

The proposed building plan would consolidate six elementary campuses into three, Thunderbird Elementary, La Mesa Elementary and College Hill Elementary. Pre-K programs would be at each campus. The new campuses would have increased capacity.

“Our students have achieved at a high level, and this building plan will match what our teachers and students are doing in outdated buildings with the opportunity to learn in schools in districts that PISD has outperformed,” Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said.

The plan would also take Coronado and Estacado Middle Schools and establish a Coronado Intermediate campus for fifth and sixth grade as well as Estacado Middle School for seventh and eighth grade. According to the district, the goal with this change is to have all competitive athletics and academics on one campus, along with students of similar academic, developmental and social and emotional needs.

“That way, instead of competing with each other, we are on the same side competing against other school districts,” Garcia said. “A big part of [the plan] is creating a safer environment for our students. Within the phases of this construction, they’re talking about enclosing everything so they don’t have to go outside the building to go to from one part into another.”

The price tag would cover the construction, renovation, security changes, technology improvements as well as the demolition costs of buildings no longer needed, according to the district.

That cost would increase the tax rate .27 cents. The 2018-19 tax rate was $1.17 for Plainview ISD. However, Garcia said recent property tax reform by the State of Texas will require PISD to compress its tax rate to around $1.06.

As for the bond proposal increase, for a home valued at $75,000 this would cost $85 annually or $7.08 monthly, according to the district.

The tax increase would not affect taxpayers 65 years and older who are under the tax freeze.

“It is important, as a board entrusted with the community’s future, that we put our students in the best possible position to find success,” Board President Sylvia De La Garza said. “We must, however, do this in a financially responsible way. This plan balances long-term financial affordability with safe, secure, modern schools.”

The election will be November 5. PISD said it will hold information meetings for community members. Those dates and times will be posted on the district’s website.

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