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Bryan ISD Board Bond Referendum Passes with Broad Support

Bryan ISD voters have approved the $132 million bond proposal put forth by the district. The funding is expected to dramatically improve the learning environment in Bryan ISD by realigning grades, building new facilities to manage growth, eliminating portable buildings and addressing other high-need infrastructure projects.

The bond passed on a margin of 65 percent in favor with 35 percent opposed. Some 13,489 votes were cast. Votes were canvassed Nov. 13 in the board room of the Travis Education Support Center (101 North Texas Avenue, Bryan, TX 77803).

“Our community stepped forward this election to voice their support for high quality, education-centered projects in Bryan ISD,” said Superintendent Tommy Wallis. “We cannot express our thanks enough for the direction and guidance of everyone who made this possible, from the voters to the Long Range Facility Planning Committee, to the Board of Trustees, who endorsed the plan unanimously. Our children stand to benefit greatly from their support.”

The district will undertake a detailed planning and design process over the next several months, leading to a master schedule of construction and renovation that will culminate over the next few years. Construction could begin as early as the summer of 2015. Updates will be posted at www.bryanisd.

History of the Bond…

The proposal for a bond was generated after an intensive process the district undertook with the leadership of a Long Range Facility Planning Committee. The committee was comprised of community members, board members and other stakeholders who studied the district’s operations at every level. Their findings and recommendations were later supported by the Board of Trustees in the form of a resolution that passed unanimously.

The committee’s foremost recommendation was for Bryan ISD to realign grades such that elementary campuses would house grades Pre-K/K-4, two intermediate schools would serve grades 5-6, two middle schools would serve grades 7-8 and high schools would continue to serve grades 9-12. The realignment will group all 5th and 6th graders into two campuses, which is expected to improve academic results for students who are no longer elementary-aged but not quite middle school-aged, either. Grouping these students for intensive, grade-specific focus is aimed at addressing the statewide trend of lowered academic performance as students transition during this pivotal phase of life.

The bond package includes building a replacement Stephen F. Austin (SFA) middle school campus, repurposing the original SFA building to aggregate administrative functions under one roof and almost completely rebuilding Sul Ross Elementary. As recommended by the facility committee, the bond-related projects allow the district to repurpose Milam Elementary to house the district’s MC Harris School for over-aged and under-credited students. That project, combined with housing administrative departments together at the former SFA campus, allows the district to sell several properties and make them available for economic development.

The bond also includes, among other things, many of the projects that a facility study identified as “Priority 1,” including HVAC repairs, technology infrastructure, roof replacements and more.

The expected tax impact for property owners is estimated to be 6 cents per $100 property value.

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