By RICHARD LEGGITT
Hill Country News
The Leander ISD has until Aug. 21 to make a decision about whether or not to seek a bond issue for the funding needed for new area schools. At its regular meeting last Thursday, the school board’s bond advisory committee recommended that a bond issue of $453,860,841 million, without the optional items, be placed on the ballot in November’s general election.
The bond advisory committee told the school board that LISD has grown by 5,000 students recently, and it’s expecting at least an additional 4,800 students in the next four years. The committee recommended the school district build three new elementary schools and one new middle school to meet the need for more classrooms.
Superintendent Dan Troxell and the district’s board of trustees will evaluate the bond advisory committee’s recommendations and discuss them further at the school board’s meetings in July and August. A final vote is expected by Aug. 17.
Troxell said Robert Stein, a Rice University researcher working with the school district, has been asked to analyze the bond research data. Stein went out into the community to survey the views on the school bond issue.
“It’s easy to look at wants,” Troxell said. “What we want to look at are needs. We have to start with our safety needs first. Then things that we absolutely have to have because of our growth. And also areas of maintenance and operation that if they are not taken care of in the next three or four years, that we would have significant problems.”
Troxell said no decisions on the bond issue will be made until Stein reports his findings to the board of trustees.
“He will go out to the community and survey our community based on the preliminary thoughts of both the steering committee and board comments that he hears,” Troxell said.
Jimmy Disler, the Leander ISD’s facilities and operations officer, said the district’s bond advisory steering committee recommendations focused on five interest areasâ€”elementary needs, middle school needs, high school needs, technology needs and ancillary needs, which include athletic, science, arts and other support facilities.