TISD bond breakdown
In November, voters rejected a Temple school district bond package by two votes. A streamlined proposal that's $20 million lighter goes before voters May 7. Here's a look inside the plan:
Renderings of the front and courtyard areas of the proposed southeast Temple elementary school are shown. Construction of the school hinges on voters approving a $164.8 million bond package on May 7. The school would serve an estimated 800 kids.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Six months after rejecting a Temple ISD bond proposal by two votes, district residents will return to the polls to decide the fate of an updated plan that lowers the overall cost by more than $20 million.
Election Day in Temple Independent School District is May 7 and early voting starts April 25.
The updated proposal is a $164.8 million package that includes construction of a southeast Temple elementary school, adding 12 new classrooms across three campuses, building a new auxiliary services building, making improvements to the ag barn and constructing competition fields at Temple’s middle schools.
The new bond package also includes improvements to many existing facilities, construction of security entrances at three campuses and the elimination of all 20 portable buildings in the district.
The failed November bond was for $184.9 million in funding but the new version is leaner. Gone from the November ballot is a proposition that called for improvements to Wildcat Stadium.
The new proposal not only cuts the overall price tag, it also reduces the tax-rate increase by nearly a dime.
“The November bond failed by two votes — it needed three more to pass,” said Dr. Bobby Ott, Temple ISD superintendent.
“When it failed, we had two options,” he said. “We could consider rezoning attendance boundaries, adding portables to campuses to increase capacity and limiting student participation in some of our programs, or we could re-engage citizens, gather feedback, rework the bond package and send it back out to voters.”
Temple’s school board went with Option No. 2.
Ott said before calling the second bond election, TISD invited three groups of residents who voted in the first election to meetings to discuss why the package failed.
“We selected people from the voter rolls,” he said. “We didn’t know how they voted, just that they did vote in November.”
Those people were asked two questions, Ott said. “Why did the package fail?” and “What could help it pass in the future?”
In the first election, there were two propositions, and one proposition dealt with improvements to Wildcat Stadium. The new focus groups thought having two propositions was confusing. They also said the initial bond was too expensive and increased the tax rate too much.
The new bond package —the one that will be voted on next month — has an estimated tax impact of less than three cents, Ott said. The new proposal would raise school district property taxes by $1.49 a month — or $17.70 per year — on a home in Temple ISD with an appraised value of $100,000.
Residents over 65 who have applied for a homestead exemption would not be affected by the increase.
“Since 2018, we have lowered our tax rate 16 cents,” Ott said. “If the bond package is approved, we would still have the lowest tax rate in the area among peer school districts.”
The current Temple ISD tax rate is $1.23 and bond-package approval would increase that rate to $1.26, Ott said. The new rate would be substantially lower than Academy ISD’s $1.36, Belton ISD’s $1.35 and Salado ISD’s $1.37.
Ott said a growing property tax base is responsible for the proposed lower tax rate. In the past few months, commercial giants such as H-E-B, Meta and FedEx Ground have expanded or announced plans to locate inside Temple ISD boundaries. In addition, Temple ISD is seeing tremendous growth in residential units.
The city of Temple is growing at a rate of about 1,100 new residences per year, but many of those new residences are not in Temple ISD.
“Temple is one of four school districts in the city,” Ott said. “The northern portion of the city is in Troy ISD, parts of South Temple are in Academy and most of West Temple is in the Belton school district. Still, Temple ISD is growing — we are expecting at least 400 new homes per year in the district, and we need to be ready for that growth.”
According to Ott, more than 6,900 planned home lots in 11 future subdivisions are expected in Temple ISD within the next eight years.
“Over the next three years, TISD will grow by 1,200 students,” Ott added. “But Temple is not ready to build a second high school. Right now, we have 8,500 students in the district and 2,300 in high school. When Temple High reaches 2,800 students, we will need to look for land for a second high school but we are not there yet.”
So, what’s in the new bond package and how much will each item cost? Great questions. Let’s break it down:
The new elementary school would be located near the intersection of Barnhardt Road and Old 95, south of Tractor Supply Company and east of Blackland Research Center. The school would have a fine arts focus — it will be a typical elementary but also offer theater and orchestra programs. The building would house 37 to 42 classrooms and serve an estimated 800 students. Projected cost: $38.2 million.
The kitchen area at Scott Elementary would be converted into four classrooms, and a new kitchen and dining area would be constructed. Projected cost: $7.4 million.
Library and cafeteria spaces at Bonham Middle School would be converted into four classrooms and a new library, kitchen and dining area would be built. Projected cost: $10 million.
At Temple High, four dedicated classrooms would be added to the existing science wing and existing science labs in the main building would be converted into core classrooms. Projected cost: $7.8 million.
Twenty portable classrooms — the last portables in the district — would be removed and replaced with permanent spaces. Right now, there are six portables at Hector P. Garcia, two at Kennedy-Powell, two at Raye-Allen, seven at Cater, and three at Western Hills. Projected cost: $10.2 million.
Three Temple ISD campuses lack double-doored security vestibules that allow school personnel to control who enters a building. The new package would construct vestibules at Raye-Allen, Hector P. Garcia and Kennedy-Powell. Projected cost: $1.6 million.
The plan calls for complete fire-suppression systems and alarm upgrades at Hector P. Garcia, Raye-Allen, Western Hills, Bonham, Temple High, Edwards Academy (former Freeman Heights campus) and Wheatley. Projected cost: $2 million.
Construction of a backup site for technology that would help keep the district operation in advent of a shutdown. The backup site would likely have a separate internet system but duplicate other services. Projected cost: $700,000.
Improvements to sidewalks, lighting and pavement at Meridith-Dunbar, Temple High and Edwards. Projected cost: $600,000.
Replacement and renovations to the Auxiliary Services Center. The center housed the district’s nutritional, maintenance, grounds and warehouse departments. Projected cost: $15.2 million.
Renovations to the current Transportation Service Center. Projected cost: $1.3 million.
Multiple male and female restroom upgrades at Temple High, Edwards, Bonham, Travis, Lamar and Wheatley. Projected cost: $1.7 million.
The package includes funds to improve marker boards and lighting at Wheatley, as well as updating the school’s front entrance, adding a marquee and hallway wall coverings. Projected cost: $560,000.
Adding digital marquees to Temple High and Edwards. Projected cost: $220,000.
The package would replace or improve playgrounds at Western Hills, Scott, Raye-Allen, Kennedy-Powell, Meridith-Dunbar, Jefferson and Garcia. Projected cost: $2.9 million.
The package would expand and improve the Ag Barn to allow students more room for their show animals and projects. The barn will remain at its current location. Projected cost: $900,000.
Improvements to the Meridith-Dunbar Fine Arts Auditorium would include seat replacement and providing American Disabilities Act-approved access to the stage. Projected cost: $430,000.
Improvements to the THS Fine Arts Auditorium, including climate/ventilation updates, sound upgrades and video improvements. Projected cost: $2.5 million.
A proposed multipurpose training complex would provide classrooms, training rooms, a weight room and locker rooms. Projected cost: $15.9 million.
Upgrades to Temple High cheerleading and golf locker rooms, softball and baseball lighting and a soccer practice field. Projected cost: $1.9 million.
Middle school athletics facilities. We will detail this in a moment. Projected cost: $10.4 million.
The bond package includes funding for building projects at several TISD campuses. Projected cost: $32.39 million.
These building projects at various campuses include:
Routine maintenance, painting and replacement of ceiling tiles, lighting and windows at 280 classrooms in the district. Projected cost: $13.7 million.
Renovations to the cafeteria and kitchen at Temple High. Projected cost: $6 million.
Roofing replacements at eight campuses. Projected cost: $4 million.
Stormwater management and drainage at seven campuses. Projected cost: $2.1 million.
Asbestos abatement at eight campuses. Projected cost: $2.08 million.
Emergency access at five campuses. Projected cost: $2.058 million.
Concrete work at two campuses. Projected cost: $1.442 million.
ADA upgrades at three campuses. Projected cost: $563,000
PA system upgrades at four campuses. Projected cost: $378,000.
Ott pointed out that despite rumors circulating in the community, a decision for the proposed elementary school off of Barnhardt Road to replace Cater Elementary has not been made.
“Cater is our smallest elementary school with about 300 kids, and about half of those kids are in the seven portables we will be removing,” Ott said. “It’s very small, but if we need to keep it, we will. Growth is coming so fast that we might need it, so no, that decision would be made with community input during a rezoning process.”
Ott also said a name for the proposed campus has not been selected.
“That’s a board process,” he said. “We would go by board policy, but the community can and has suggested names.”
Ott said Temple middle schools — Travis, Lamar and Bonham — are in need of outdoor athletic facilities for soccer, football and track.
“Lamar and Travis have no competition fields,” Ott said. “Right now, these schools are playing at Woodson. Bonham has a field, but no stands. They all need restrooms, stands and a place for concessions.”
If the bond package passes, upgrades would be made at Bonham, and football/soccer fields would be built at Travis and Lamar.
“We don’t own the land behind Travis — the city does,” Ott said. “But the city has committed to partner with us and the field would be used by Travis, Ralph Wilson Youth Club and by youth sports leagues.”
While Travis and Bonham would have tracks around the football/soccer fields, Lamar would not.
“The footprint of the athletic field at Lamar is not quite big enough,” Ott said. “That campus would have the field, stands and a concession area, but they would use the Temple High track.”
Ott said middle school tracks are primarily used for practice and competitions are traditionally held at Wildcat Stadium.
Early voting for the Temple ISD bond election is April 25-29 and May 2-3, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Temple ISD Administration Building at Santa Fe Plaza.
Election Day is May 7 and voting will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the TISD Administration Building, Jefferson, Meridith-Dunbar and Raye-Allen.
The above rendering of the proposed elementary school shows the entrance and art galleries. Although it would be a typical elementary school it would have added focus on fine arts.
Above is a rendering of the proposed multi-use competition field at Travis. Bonham and Lamar would have similar facilities. However, the Travis complex would be a partnership between TISD and the city of Temple. Temple owns the land, but the facility would be used by Travis, the Ralph Wilson Youth Club and youth sports leagues. The facility would include a field used for both football and soccer, a four-lane track, stands for viewing games and a concession area.
Holy Trinity drama department to present spring play April 22-23
Holy Trinity Catholic High School will be busy this weekend. According to Renee Morales, the school’s director of admissions and development.
In partnership with the city of Temple, Holy Trinity will host the annual Shred Day which will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday. Temple residents can bring up to five boxes of paper to shred until 11 a.m.
Holy Trinity Catholic High School also will have its Spring Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will have great gifts for Mother’s Day and graduation.
Holy Trinity will also be giving campus tours to those interested in attending next school year.
The Drama Department will be hosting its spring play, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You. Show times are April 22 - 23 at 7 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m. in Kasberg Student Center. Admission is free.
For more information, please call (254) 771-0787
Temple, Belton police recover stolen property
Our Town Temple
Temple Police Department detectives located and recovered approximately $60,000 in stolen property Tuesday.
Detectives received a tip from patrol officers about potentially stolen property at a location near 6th and Avenue F. They found a Bobcat skid-steer which was reported stolen on April 14.
Detectives were able to secure a warrant and found additional stolen property.
The Belton police also recovered a trailer at the scene. Items recovered likely will lead to the closure of at least four cases in the Temple and Belton area.
The recovery of the stolen items will likely lead to the closure of at least four cases across the Temple/Belton area.
WEDNESDAY | APRIL 20 , 2022
TODAY’S BEST BET :
Celebrate 4/20 at Corky's with Laughs & CBD by AAA Strate Vape at 6 p.m. Liquid MJ Special, $4. Comedy open mic sign up at 7:30 p.m., show at 8.
Trivia Night at The Green Door.
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as The Katy, used to advertise travel on the Katy Flyer in an unusual way. What did they do?
ANSWER AT END OF TODAY’S ISSUE
OurTownTemple@gmail.com | (254) 231-1574
TODAY’S TEMPLE TRIVIA ANSWER: The Katy had a giant hot-air balloon it often flew over the Katy Depot in East Temple during the early 1900s. The balloon was marked with a Katy Flyer logo.