The following information was prepared by Blanco ISD to provide voters with information regarding the upcoming bond election scheduled for November 2.
What is a School Bond?
A school bond is the way a school district borrows money for facilities, similar to a home mortgage. It allows a district to repay borrowed money on a given date and to pay interest at an agreed upon rate. The money is repaid from property taxes. Long-term financing is a method to fund the construction or major renovation of school facilities.
Who was involved in the planning?
In August 2009, the Blanco Board of Trustees commissioned a district-wide facility study by a school planning consultant. The study included meetings with the BISD administration, site-based team, school board, and a Citizens Advisory Committee. In August 2010, the Citizens Advisory Committee recommended the Board of Trustees to call for a bond election to address the needs of the District’s facility study. On August 23, 2010, the Board of Trustees ordered a bond election for November 2, 2010.
Do we need more classrooms?
The facility study found that Blanco ISD has experienced slow but consistent growth, with an average annual growth rate of 2.65% over the past ten years.
Currently the elementary campus has ten classrooms in portable buildings. The fifth grade portable building has been utilized for fifteen years. Portables are not meant to be permanent structures.
According to the facility study’s projections, the elementary campus will need 20 additional classrooms within the next 10 years due to enrollment growth and portable building replacement.
Both the high school and middle school facilities are presently adequate to accommodate anticipated growth over the next 10 years.
What about the historic building?
In 1874, the Blanco Masonic Lodge imported quarried stone to construct a Masonic University at the site of the current historical building. The plans fell through for lack of funding, and the Lodge donated the land and the stone for construction of a new Blanco High School.
In 1884, an original two-story schoolhouse was constructed on the site. In 1893, this schoolhouse was destroyed by fire. In 1902, the school was re-built.
In 1921, the building was condemned, renovated, and re-opened in 1923. Its architecture is a “Mission Revival” style. Its structures retained the same stones that were quarried in 1874. In the 1940s and 1950s, periodic additions and repairs were made to the building.
Currently, the historical building serves no instructional purpose, and has fallen upon disrepair. There have been concerns as to the building’s air quality.
The Citizens Advisory Committee that met during the summer of 2010 discussed the historical building at length, and looked at all the issues involved with it. The committee agreed on a renovation plan that preserves the structural walls of the original building, and maintains its outer façade, yet upgrades the interior.
According to current plans, the board of trustees plans to undertake this project if the bond issue is successful.
What is the tax impact on Seniors?
School taxes on resident homesteads are frozen in the year that a taxpayer turns 65 years of age and will not increase as a result of the school bond election.
How will this affect my taxes?
The passage of the bond will result in a preliminary tax rate increase $ 0.0612. The potential monthly economic impact over the next 2—3 years on home valuations is as follows:
Summary of Proposed Projects and Estimated Expenditures (Values are preliminary and subject to change)
Elementary Campus Improvements: $4,983,587
Renovation of Historical Building; 16 classrooms, computer lab, science lab, restrooms, gallery, library; cafeteria with stage; walkway canopies; convert library to 2 classrooms; convert existing cafeteria to art/music room.
Other School Improvements: $2,180,420
• Blanco Elementary—Add running trail to facilitate State required fitness program; remove unused structures
•Blanco Middle School—science lab alterations; gym air condition
Blanco High School—paving repairs; stage modifications
•Blanco ISD—Add security cameras district-wide; new transportation/maintenance facility; paving at stadium; relocate community shared tennis courts; technology.
Project Costs: $1, 670,993
One school bus; bond issuance costs; equipment, furnishings, professional fees, contingencies, legal.
Where can I go for further information?
Further information about the bond can be found on the District website at www.blancoisd.org. For further information, or to schedule an informational presentation for a church, civic organization, or community group, feel free to contact the Blanco ISD administration office at 833-4414.