The May 6 school bond election includes classroom additions at each of the five elementary schools to address the steady increase in kindergarten through fourth grade students projected over the next five years.
Rocky Gardiner of Templeton Demographics was hired to update the district's enrollment projections. He presented a report to Trustees February 6 showing the district's elementary enrollment projection of 177 additional students over the next five years. This steady increase in K-4 students means at least four of the district's elementary schools will be over their Functional Capacity by the 2021-2022 school year. CISD has already placed portable buildings at Johnson and Carroll Elementary Schools, and closed in common spaces at Walnut Grove Elementary as a short-term solution to accommodate enrollment.
A Capital Needs Planning Committee of citizens and employees studied the district's growth patterns over the next 10 years. The group recommended classroom building additions in years 1-5 and encouraged CISD to consider opening a sixth elementary in years 6-10. CISD currently has 2,883 elementary students across the five campuses; that number is expected to grow to 3,060 by 2021-2022 and 3,186 by 2026-2027.
"Ideally CISD would open a sixth elementary school but there are concerns right now that because of the school finance system and the Chapter 41 Robin Hood money the state takes from us, we wouldn't have the money to operate the school," said Superintendent David J. Faltys. "Their recommendation is to construct building additions at each elementary school now and continue studying the option of a sixth elementary school down the road."
School officials say because of the CNPC's recommendation, the May 6 bond election includes four classrooms for Walnut Grove Elementary School, and six classrooms each for Johnson, Carroll, Old Union and Rockenbaugh Elementary Schools. The master plan at Old Union would allow for an additional 10 more classrooms in the future should the district need additional space or decide to house the preschool program on that campus.
If the district experiences relief from the state finance system or is able to recoup maintenance and operations funds through energy savings or use of interest and sinking funds, then it might be in a better position in the future to consider a sixth elementary. At that time, school officials say the classroom additions could be used for collaborative learning spaces for K-4 students.
Voters will consider a $208 million bond proposition on the May 6 ballot. The measure includes technology infrastructure and devices, building additions and renovations, extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities and projects to address maintenance, transportation and safety/security.
School officials say about half of the bond package total covers maintenance/life cycle projects such as HVAC, carpeting, painting, tile and more. The election does not require a tax rate increase based on conservative forecasting by CISD's bond advisors. Early voting begins April 24 and ends May 2 at any Tarrant County polling place. The most convenient location for Carroll ISD voters is third floor voting at Town Hall in Southlake Town Square. Election day voting will take place by precinct, with a majority of Southlake voters casting a ballot at the art building at Carroll Senior High School.
To learn more about the May 6 election, visit CarrollBudget.com