Significant growth projections across district and strong community desire to enhance Career & Technical Education propels committee to recommend bond referendum to school board
A task force committee comprised of parents, students, teachers, school district staff and community members presented recommendations for a May 2022 bond election to the Montgomery ISD Board of Trustees during their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Recommendations from the Community Bond Task Force include projects that will benefit all MISD students, teachers and staff, ensuring comparability, safety and security and growth needs are all addressed.
You can watch the video of the meeting here, or read the recap below:
The proposal contains the following projects:
- Construction of a centralized Career and Technical Education Center serving both high schools
- Construction of Elementary School #7
- Construction of a district Agriculture Science Center
- Construction of the second phase of Lake Creek HS
- Land needed for construction of new educational facilities
- Renovations of aging campuses with special attention to technology, safety and security
- Improvements to infrastructure needed to enhance technology in every district classroom
- Replacement and purchase of new school buses to update the district’s aging fleet and improve student transportation
- Purchase of new equipment needed to enhance Fine Arts programs
- Facility improvements to campuses to increase comparability across the district
- Enhancements to districtwide safety and security measures and cybersecurity
- Design and initial planning work for Junior High School #3
- Necessary compliance renovations at MISD Athletic Complex
- Expansion and comparability renovations at MISD Athletic Complex
- Campus athletic renovations
In September 2021, trustees authorized Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison and district leadership to form the Community Bond Task Force to explore the need for a bond and make recommendations. The decision to form this committee came after trustees received the results of a district demographic study in 2021, which projected a significant growth in the student population over the next 10 years. Trustees also received a comprehensive assessment of district facilities that was performed by Huckabee Architects and approved a new district strategic plan during the 2020-21 school year. All were items that led to discussions surrounding the need for a bond to address growth and facility upgrades and to provide greater capacity to offer enhanced Career and Technical Education and Fine Arts programming.
“Growth in our district is here, and it’s very clear that more is coming,” Board President Matt Fuller said. “In our vision to be the Premier School District in Texas, we must take the necessary steps to ensure that our campuses and facilities meet growth projections and can offer the best educational programs our students need, expect and deserve. The work of this task force committee was a critical step to mapping the future of Montgomery ISD, and I’m thankful for the many hours each of them devoted to developing their proposal.”
Trustees will vote on whether to move forward with a May 2022 bond election at their regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
The Community Bond Task Force was made up of parents and staff from each MISD campus, students from both of the district’s high schools, and Montgomery community members and business owners. The committee held six meetings during the fall semester, touring and evaluating facilities and critically evaluating data from the district’s 2021 facility assessment, as well as district growth patterns and projections. Members spent time studying the district’s Pathway to Premier Strategic Plan and discussing the needs of the rapidly growing district. During each meeting, district staff members were available to present information, answer questions and facilitate meaningful conversations.
“I could not be more pleased with how our committee developed the bond proposal that was presented to the Board of Trustees,” MISD parent MaryAnn Coleman said. “Whether the individual committee member was a Lion or a Bear, each person was very intentional in wanting to ensure that this bond would touch every campus and support every student in Montgomery ISD.”
After two of the six meetings, the committee unanimously agreed that, based on the data they had studied, Montgomery ISD is in need of additional capacity and educational facilities to serve current students enrolled in the district, as well as the thousands more projected to enroll over the next several years. The Community Bond Task Force spent their next four meetings developing the details of the bond proposal presented.
“The data and information presented to us made it abundantly clear that we need to responsibly plan for future growth in our school district,” Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and parent to Montgomery High School graduates Shannan Reid said. “Additionally, our community has been vocal in its desire to enhance Career and Technical Education offerings to students to ensure that after high school, every student in our district is well-prepared to step from the graduation stage directly into the college or career of their choice.”
It was recommended that the proposed projects be submitted to voters in three separate propositions:
- Proposition A for school facilities, land acquisition and transportation, totaling $312,993.045;
- Proposition B for renovations and expansion of the MISD Athletic Complex, totaling $8,514,045; and
- Proposition C for technology devices, totaling $5,400,000; for a proposed total of $326,907,090.
The estimated property tax impact if voters approve all three propositions is projected to be less than a penny increase to the district’s debt service (I&S) rate. The district’s property tax rate is currently $1.26 per $100 of assessed value.
“This was a thorough process that resulted in numerous in-depth, meaningful conversations about what’s needed in Montgomery ISD to provide the quality education this community expects for every student,” Community Member Linda Chilcoat, who also served on the committee, said. “In the end, I’m very confident that the proposal put forward by our committee achieves this goal in a way that supports all students in a fiscally responsible manner to Montgomery ISD taxpayers.”
Montgomery ISD will host two Bond Town Hall meetings on Wednesday, January 26 at Montgomery High School and Wednesday, February 2 at Lake Creek High School. Both will be held in the campus auditoriums from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Information reviewed by the committee and a list of frequently asked questions can be found on the district’s Paving Our Path: Bond 2022 webpage.
“I am incredibly grateful for the time, work and dedication each member of the task force committed to this important work,” Morrison said. “The work of this committee has laid the groundwork for projects that would have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of students, for many years to come.”