During the August 18th meeting, the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees unanimously passed an order to hold an election on Tuesday, November 3, to seek voter authorization for the sale of schoolhouse bonds.
The amount of the bond proposal is $798,000,000 and includes the construction of new schools, renovations, enhancements and other projects to meet the growth needs of the school district over the next five years.
The district is experiencing growth at the Pre-K-8 levels. The district has discussed reconfiguration changes at those levels. The reconfiguration changes would be addressed in the bond by converting intermediate schools into Pre-K schools, converting elementary schools to grades 1-5 and converting middle schools to grades 6-8. The reconfiguration changes will reduce the number of transitions between grade levels.
In the fall of 2014, the district hired Jacobs Engineering to conduct a facilities and technological assessment of every school and support facility in the district. The district also worked with DeJONG-RICHTER, LLC, an educational facilities planning firm, which assisted in the assessment process.
In February of 2015, the district formed a steering committee of parents and community members to receive input concerning district growth, facilities and technology needs. The steering committee attended 6 meetings to study data and provide input concerning Aldine’s future.
In addition, two community dialogues were held to receive input from district stakeholders. A district executive team composed of administrators and steering committee chairs studied possible options.
The steering committee used information from the following sources:
Facility needs assessment conducted by Jacobs Engineering
Demographic study conducted by Population and Survey Analysts (PASA)
Educational planning input from DeJONG-RICHTER
At the July 20 Board study session, steering committee chairs Carleen Kerr and Dr. Alton Smith and consultants David Sturtz (DeJONG-RICHTER) and Paul Mills (Jacob’s Engineering) made a presentation to the Board of Trustees detailing the district’s facilities and technology needs to address growth over the next 15 years.
“A population study conducted by Population and Survey Analysts (PASA) projects that Aldine will continue to grow by 3% (2,000 students per year) for the next five years, which will increase student enrollment by approximately 10,000. Projected enrollment for 2020 will be close to 80,000. Over the last five months, we have focused on specific options to deal with our growth. Those options include new campuses, reconfigured grade levels to maximize current capacity, improvements and upgrades for various facilities and programs including career and technical education and athletics. There are also plans for each campus to address numerous maintenance and facility needs, such as AC/heating, and plumbing, restroom, electrical and flooring repairs and replacements.”
The committee found that to address the district’s growth, it would need to build three new elementary schools, two to replace Francis and Johnson elementary schools, one new elementary school, a new Career and Technical Education high school and an East Aldine Early College high school.
Additionally, the bond referendum would call for major renovations at some campuses including Carver High School, Aldine High School, Anderson Academy and MacArthur High School.
The referendum would also provide technology upgrades throughout the district and the installation of WiFi at all Aldine campuses to improve Internet access.
The bond referendum would also address safety and security with security camera additions and upgrades at all facilities, the installation of GPS on all buses, the installation of automated door lock systems and additional fencing.
Other improvements include the renovation of Smith Stadium, the renovation of middle school auditoriums, tennis court and swimming pool upgrades, the construction of a north side transportation facility, parking lot expansions, and land purchases.
If voters approve the bond proposal, the district will sell bonds as needed for the construction of new schools, renovations, purchases, replacements and improvements that are outlined in the proposal.
A series of community informational meetings will be held throughout the district (the district will provide dates, locations, and times once meetings are confirmed).
The district will post information on its website and at each campus with details about all the work proposed in the referendum.
Early voting will take place Oct. 19-Oct. 30 at any polling location in Harris County from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, Nov. 3, polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. (once we get the polling locations from Harris County, we will list locations).
A bond referendum should have a minimal impact on taxpayers especially if voters in Texas approve Proposition 1 in the November election. Proposition 1 changes the homestead exemption amount for school property taxes from $15,000 to $25,000, which means a house valued at $100,000 in Aldine would be taxed at $75,000 in the future.
In May of 2007, Aldine voters overwhelmingly approved a $365 million bond proposal for the construction of 12 new schools. The referendum passed by a 71% margin.