Voters say yes to $648.34 million bond proposal

Northside voters Saturday approved a $648.34 million bond issue that will allow the District to address much-needed improvements at existing schools while continuing to keep pace with growth.

Of the 15,609 people who voted, 65.28 percent cast yes votes, making it the seventh consecutive bond issue voters have passed since 1995. Voters last passed a $535 million bond issue in 2010.

"We are very grateful to all the voters who took the time to learn about the bond proposal and then went to the polls to vote," Superintendent Brian T. Woods said. "The passage of this bond speaks to the confidence that this community has in Northside ISD and means that we can continue to provide a quality learning environment for all students."

Fifty five percent of NISD's $648.34 million bond proposal will fund improvements to existing schools, while the rest will fund new schools to manage the District's growing enrollment, now at 101,477. Enrollment is expected to top 115,000 by 2019.

School Bond 2014 will fund:

  • 409 new classrooms at six new schools, including five elementary schools and one high school
  • Major renovations of libraries, cafeterias, and science labs at older schools and the replacement of entire buildings
  • Upgrades to infrastructure systems like roofing and heating and air-conditioning
  • Safety and security projects including elementary security lobbies
  • Updates to students’ and teachers’ technology, including “interactive white boards” at elementary schools
  • Additional school buses

“The bond campaign has ended and now the work begins to implement this proposal,” Woods said. “As our Northside community expects, we are committed to completing these bond projects on time and on budget.”

When bond payments hit their peak in 2019, the owners of an average home in Northside could see their taxes rise by $14.31 a month compared to current taxes. 

 “Northside’s history of projecting impact on taxpayers has been very conservative,” said School Board President Robert Blount, Jr. “In the last three bond elections, the projected tax increases never materialized or were considerably less than projected. In fact, NISD’s tax rate today is about 9 cents lower than what was projected in School Bond 2010.”

The School Bond 2014 informational web site offers a detailed explanation and list of projects. The bond web site also includes information about the potential tax impact of the bond and a video about the bond proposal.

 

Improving existing schools, managing growth and increasing security drive School Bond 2014

Northside ISD trustees called a school bond election on May 10, 2014 for $648.34 million that addresses the need for new schools to manage continuing growth and the need to improve existing schools. In fact, the majority of the proposal is to upgrade existing neighborhood schools.

We have all seen the growth when driving around Northwest San Antonio these past few years. Besides the increased traffic and congestion, there are new businesses and giant commercial centers, hundreds of new neighborhoods, thousands of new houses, thousands of new families, and new schools.

Northside enrollment has continued to grow by over 2000 students every year. That’s because half of all new homes built in Bexar County are located in Northside. In fact, NISD just surpassed 101,000 students. At the end of this four-year bond, about 8,000 more students will call Northside home raising the total enrollment to almost 110,000 students in 2018.

Did you know that Northside grows by 2 to 3 classrooms a week?

Northside is the 4th largest school district in Texas and certainly the largest in the San Antonio metroplex. What a stark contrast to NISD’s humble beginnings in 1949 when farmers and ranchers from 11 schools joined to form what we now know as Northside ISD.

Just like then, NISD continues to draw thousands of families looking for high quality schools in attractive neighborhoods.

In addition to the growth and need for more classrooms, many Northside aging schools need continued attention to keep them up to current standards and provide functional learning spaces for children.

More than half of Northside schools are older than 20 years; and some were originally built as early as the 1950s and 1960s.

In the district’s 64-year history, all 115 schools have been constructed with bond funds.

In the fall of 2013, a 250-member Citizens’ Bond Committee, made up of parents from all NISD schools, senior citizens, business representatives, other community citizens, and teachers looked at enrollment projections, analyzed the needs of the district, and recommended that the School Board call for a bond election.

The NISD Board of Trustees approved a bond proposal that asks the voters for $648.34 million to build 409 new classrooms and make other major improvements and renovations to most Northside Schools.

On Saturday, May 10, voters will be asked to vote on School Bond 2014, a carefully crafted proposal that

  • addresses the needs of thousands more students
  • funds major renovations of libraries, cafeterias, and science labs at older schools and replaces entire buildings
  • makes necessary upgrades to infrastructure systems like roofing and heating and air-conditioning
  • also updates students’ and teachers’ technology and adds “interactive white boards” at elementary schools