Local attorney and philanthropist David Earl and his wife Melanie Earl have donated $750,000 in tree credits to Northside ISD.
The donation frees up $750,000 that the District would have had to pay the City of San Antonio to mitigate fees for removing trees from new school building sites.
"My wife Melanie and I felt these credits, totaling three quarters of a million dollars, would be of greater benefit to Northside Independent School District and their students than any of our current and future clients," David Earl said.
San Antonio's tree ordinance requires that a developer - whether an individual, business owner or public entity - pay a specified amount in mitigation or reimbursement fees to cover the removal and replacement of trees.
"We are so appreciative of Mr. and Mrs. Earl's donation because it frees up more bond money to build schools and make renovations to our schools instead of paying mitigation fees," Superintendent John Folks said, noting that the District makes every effort to preserve as many trees as possible when clearing a site for a new school. "This will directly benefit our students."
The District is in the midst of completing new schools and renovation and expansion projects funded by School Bond 2007, and is in the planning stages for dozens of projects being funded by School Bond 2010, approved by voters last May. Enrollment, now at 94,702, is growing by about 3,000 students a year, which means the District must open two to five schools a year to keep pace with growth.