In the coming months and years, London ISD students will see new technology, a renovated sports complex and eventually a new elementary school.
Voters approved Saturday three bond propositions amounting to more than $96 million aimed at addressing rising enrollment in a district that has experienced a 54.5% growth rate in the past six years.
London ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis said the district presented three propositions at once in order to give the community a complete package of projects, as well as to ensure that the tax rate remains steady for the next few years.
“Opportunities for students certainly was the focus for all three of the propositions,” Whitis said.
What do the propositions include?
The largest of the three propositions will allow the district to borrow almost $79.5 million to add and renovate spaces at every district school, expand career and technology course offerings, and acquire land for and develop a new elementary campus. It was approved with 56.7% of the vote.
A second measure, totaling almost $15.2 million, will fund a stadium complex with bleachers, restrooms, concession stands, turf fields and a track. The measure passed with 57.3% of the vote.
The final $1.5 million proposition is for technology improvements, including moving the district toward its goal of having a device for each student. It passed with 63.1% in favor.
Why are the projects needed?
Jumps in enrollment have resulted in 450 new students in the district over the past six years, and the district expects more new students each of the next several years.
Ginny Cross, vice president of government and community relations at United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, said areas on the edge of Corpus Christi are growing.
“Everything is trending towards London,” Cross said.
Board President Scott Frazier said the campus improvements are needed to ensure moderate class sizes.
Whitis said the additional space will help the district reduce the need to teach students in portable buildings. She added that the district has outgrown its current athletic facilities.
“All in all, I think the district is headed in the right direction,” Frazier said.
What is the effect on the property tax rate?
The average taxpayer will see increases, as the property tax rate jumps from $1.20 per $100 valuation to $1.49. Over the past five years, the district’s tax rate has ranged as high as $1.35 in 2017-18.
For a $350,000 home, the maximum tax impact is $60.88 a month.
“We’ll have kids in newer facilities and not in portable buildings,” Whitis said.
Frazier said he aims to see all projects completed in a timely manner, without going over budget.
In upcoming meetings, the board of trustees will be speaking to architects and begin to work out more detailed plans and timelines, Whitis said.
“A lot’s about to happen,” Whitis said.