The Midland ISD Master Facilities Planning Committee has officially finalized its bond recommendation for the upcoming November election. At $569 million, this bond will help to seat more children as the projected enrollment for Midland ISD continues to rise. MISD added approximately 1,400 students over the last three years, and enrollment is expected to increase another 8,600 students over the next ten years, a 33% increase. In addition, grades 9-12 are projected to add approximately 3,000 students over the next ten years, a 45% increase. Educate Midland is always excited to support opportunities for growth in the community and encourage everyone to get informed on this amazing new proposal.
The last new comprehensive high school was built in 1961, 58 years ago for an enrollment size of fewer than 1,500 students. Currently, secondary campuses lease nearly the same number of classrooms in portable buildings that a permanent high school would have, according to district officials. Additionally, the last new junior high school was built in 1993, 26 years ago. Therefore, it is time to make improvements in the school district as these buildings will not hold for much longer at maximum student capacity. As a part of the 10-Year Facility Master Plan, the Committee recommends that the MISD Board of Trustees call a Bond Election November 5th, 2019 summarized as follows:
- Construct Two New Comprehensive High Schools
- Renovate/Expand Existing Lee High School Site
- Fully Utilize and Repurpose Existing Midland High School Site
- Fully Utilize and Repurpose Existing San Jacinto Junior High Site
- Safety and Security Upgrades at Secondary Campuses
- Technology Upgrades at Secondary Campuses
- Select Capital Replacement at Secondary Campuses
- Athletic / Site Improvements at Existing JH/Freshman Campuses
Residents may be concerned about how this will affect taxes during the duration of the bond. However, interest rates are predicted to be near record lows – 3% below the 60-year average – throughout the bond period. If the district waits, the additional interest could cost taxpayers an additional $150 million to $240 million.
However, the actual impact, when taxpayers consider the impact of the session, would not seem so much. The average $300,000 homeowner would have already had their taxes reduced by $210 per year when they began paying for the bond. Therefore, the difference in what each taxpayer is spending right now would be less than $100 per year.
“We have never had this opportunity, and we may never again. This is the most tax-friendly way possible,” said Ronnie Scott, a committee board member.
By the time construction of the new buildings under the proposed bond are completed, it will have been over 60 years since Midland built a new comprehensive high school and over 30 years since it built a new comprehensive junior high/middle school. Once approved, it will take another five years to fully implement the attached plan. The longer we wait, the more seats we may need, and the greater the cost will be.
Six decades ago, Midland was positioned extraordinarily well for the future through school leader’s and the community’s vision, leadership, and courage. Similarly, MISD and a Committee of Citizens have come together to develop this thoughtful, coordinated plan based upon not wants, but needs that incorporate important taxpayer considerations.
We understand that passing this bond is only one step in many necessary steps to improving the district’s academic performance. Again, we are so excited about the opportunity for growth for our students and families and hope that you get informed, get involved, and most importantly, vote! We will be voting on if this proposal will be added to the November 5th, 2019 ballot at the upcoming school board meeting. This meeting will be held on Monday, August 19th at Bowie Fine Arts Elementary School, beginning at 4:00 pm and we hope to see you there.
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