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Lamar CISD Board of Trustees Call for a November 2022 Bond Election Totaling $1.7 Billion

(LAMAR CISD) – The Lamar CISD Board of Trustees have called for a bond election containing five propositions for consideration by the voters. This fall, voters will head to the polls to vote on five separate bond propositions totaling $1.7 billion.

The focus of the bond is to provide funding for safety and security upgrades, the construction of eight new campuses, extensions and renovations to existing high schools' gyms and cafeterias, upgrading technology infrastructure, a new Career and Technology Center, additional technology devices as well as renovations to Traylor Stadium, and construction of a new stadium.


Lamar CISD, which has experienced significant growth within the last few years, currently serves more than 42,000 students at 47 campuses. According to the district’s demographers, Population And Survey Analysts, for the second year, Lamar CISD had the greatest number of new housing starts of any school district in Houston metro and the State of Texas.


In the 12-month period ending in December 2021, Metrostudy reported 5,477 new single-family housing starts in Lamar CISD. This figure represents a 30.4 percent increase from the previous year. In addition, for the 2020-2021 school year, Lamar CISD gained 1,363 students (a 3.88 percent increase), while during the past five years, the district gained 6,827 students, or 10.81 percent.


The one-year gain of 1,363 students in the Fall of 2020 places Lamar CISD as the fastest growing district of its size in the state of Texas. The net growth is almost double that of Frisco ISD, with Frisco having the second most growth in the state.


“We always talk about how the growth is coming, but it is clear that the growth is here now,” said Lamar CISD Superintendent Roosevelt Nivens.


Eighty-six percent of the total bond package is to address the district’s rapid growth, while 14 percent addresses existing buildings. Of that 86 precent, 80 percent of the bond impacts current students while the remaining 20 percent impacts future students.


According to PASA, Lamar CISD is projected to add more than 48,000 new single-family homes and serve nearly 70,000 students by 2031.

PROPOSITION A

The components of Proposition A address several areas including adding and upgrading security at every campus, building new campuses to address student growth, adding to existing campuses to increase capacity and improving technology infrastructure across the district.


PROPOSITION B

Voters will also determine whether the district should move forward with building a Career and Technology Center, which would house vocational programs such as Applied Agricultural Engineering, Culinary Arts, Construction Architecture, and many other CTE-related programs.

“Career and Technical Education focuses on the development of skilled workers, including those workers in the fields of infrastructure, health care, and manufacturing,” Lamar CISD Executive Director of College, Career & Military Readiness Career & Technical Education, Kayse Lazar said. Lamar CISD currently offers 20 different CTE programs of study and partners with Texas State Technical College to offer dual credit opportunities in the areas of HVAC, Welding, Cybersecurity, Automotive Technology, and Diesel Equipment Technology.

“Not every high school campus can offer some of these programs due to the lack of facilities,” Lazar said. “Also, only a small percentage of our students can take advantage of this opportunity due to TSTC courses not operating within a traditional school day schedule. The CTE center would be intended to open the door to even more relevant opportunities that would prepare them for the rapidly changing workforce by partnering closely with the community and replicating the workforce needs in our area.”


PROPOSITION C

The third item on the ballot addresses classroom and district technology and equipment. Proposition C includes replacing more than 7,000 student laptops and more than 500 staff laptops, replacing 4,000 desktop computers and 250 iPads. It also includes upgrades to 600 classroom interactive flat panels and upgrades internal digital signage capability at 35+ campuses which will improve safety and security communication allowing campuses to instantly communicate to students and staff in the event of an emergency.

It also includes equipment to increase services at the district’s Graphic Arts Center that teachers and staff use.


PROPOSITION D

Proposition D addresses upgrading lighting and turf at the district’s sole athletic stadium, Traylor Stadium. Traylor Stadium originally opened in 1960 and has undergone a series of improvements in its 60+ years. Its current turf was installed in 2013 with a life expectancy of 10 years.


“The district can no longer purchase light fixtures to replace broken lights at the stadium. Updating lights and poles to current LED standards would facilitate a potential cost saving on energy usage,” Athletic Director Nikki Nelson said.


PROPOSITION E

The last proposition on the ballot is for land and the construction of a second stadium. Due to the expansive growth in the district boundaries and the competitiveness of the athletic districts in which Lamar CISD students complete, scheduling is complex. The district high schools are in three different competitive districts, each with its own schedule. During the 2021-2022 school year, Traylor Stadium hosted more than 70 games, contests and events that involved approximately 13,000 Lamar CISD students.


“With the addition of new high schools, the district has experienced challenges with scheduling all necessary varsity football games at Traylor Stadium,” said district officials. “A second stadium would allow Lamar CISD to have more homecoming games on Friday nights and seat larger crowds with more parking. The addition will also allow for more flexibility in scheduling and facilities for student educational programs such as digital communications and culinary art programs associated with the operation of the stadium.”


FINANCIAL IMPACT

The district’s current total tax rate is $1.24, and this year, Lamar CISD’s taxable value grew 24 percent. As long as the district averages an 8 percent growth in taxable value, and the district continues to experience compression in the Maintenance and Operations portion of its tax rate, officials say it is unlikely that the district will have to increase the total tax rate.


However, if the district experienced a drop to 7 percent taxable property value growth, if all five propositions were approved by voters, the 2022 Bond Package would be projected to increase annual property taxes by approximately 1.5 cents on every $100 of taxable property value per year, or approximately $42.75 per year for a $325,000 home.


Early voting is Oct. 24 – Nov. 4 and Election Day is Nov. 8




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