The Bryan ISD Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to call for a bond election this November. The proposed $132 million in funding is expected to dramatically improve the learning environment in Bryan ISD by realigning grades, building new facilities to manage growth, eliminating portable buildings and addressing other high-need infrastructure projects.
The proposal for a bond was generated after an intensive process the district undertook with the leadership of a Long Range Facility Planning Committee. The committee was comprised of community members, board members and other stakeholders who studied the district’s operations at every level. Their findings and recommendations were later supported by the Board of Trustees in the form of a resolution that passed unanimously.
The committee’s foremost recommendation was for Bryan ISD to realign grades such that elementary campuses would house grades Pre-K/K-4, two intermediate schools would serve grades 5-6, two middle schools would serve grades 7-8 and high schools would continue to serve grades 9-12. The realignment will group all 5th and 6th graders into two campuses, which is expected to improve academic results for students who are no longer elementary-aged but not quite middle school-aged, either. Grouping these students for intensive, grade-specific focus is aimed at addressing the statewide trend of lowered academic performance as students transition during this pivotal phase of life.
The bond package includes building a replacement Stephen F. Austin (SFA) middle school campus—likely on the current school’s property—repurposing the aging SFA building to aggregate administrative functions under one roof and almost completely rebuilding Sul Ross Elementary. As recommended by the facility committee, the bond-related projects allow the district to repurpose an elementary school to house the district’s MC Harris School for over-aged and under-credited students. That project, combined with housing administrative departments together at the former SFA campus, allows the district to sell properties and make them available for economic development.
The bond also includes, among other things, many of the projects that a facility study identified as “Priority 1,” including HVAC repairs, technology infrastructure, roof replacements and more.
The expected tax impact for property owners will range between 6.5 cents and 8 cents per $100 property value, depending on the board’s decision to potentially pay down an additional $1 million in debt this August. The pay down is made possible by better-than-expected growth in mineral values.
The bond is slated for voter consideration on November 4.