HISD Wants $1.89 Billion To Rebuild, Renovate Schools

Almost $2 billion for schools
Almost $2 billion for schools

The Houston Independent School District's Board of Trustees is considering asking voters for a $1.89 billion bond issue that would rebuild or renovate 42 schools.

The board must decide by August whether to place the item on the November 6 ballot. If voters approve the bond package, HISD would "most likely" raise property taxes, which would not effect homesteads of HISD residents 65 and older, according to a press release issued today.

The construction projects were chosen with the input of detailed surveys from more than "3,300 parents, teachers and community members representing 95 percent of the district's schools," according to the release. The district also hired Parsons, a project management and design firm, to update the 2007 comprehensive assessment of HISD's facilities.

"Parsons experts personally inspected dozens of schools and interviewed principals and plant operators to develop the list of campuses in the bond proposal," according to the release.

And just what would this money be used for? Here's the plan, according to a press release issued today:

-- $577 million to completely replace Furr, HSPVA, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Sterling, Booker T. Washington, and Yates high schools. (The new HSPVA building would be located in the theater district, on HISD-owned property at 1300 Capital).

-- $318 million to replace the "inadequate facilities" at Bellaire, Lamar, and Sam Houston high schools.

-- $259 million to replace "inadequate facilities" and renovate Austin, Milby, Waltrip, and Worthing high schools, as well as Eastwood Academy.

-- $27 million to build two new early-college high schools with north and south campuses.

--$101 million to renovate or renew Davis, DeBakey, Jones, Barbara Jordan, Kashmere, Scarborough, Sharpstown and Westbury high schools, as well as Young Men's and Young Women's college preps.

-- $121 million to convert 4 elementary schools into K-8 campuses: Garden Oaks, Pilgrim Academy, Wharton Dual Language, Mandarin Chinese Language Immersion Magnet School at Gordon.

-- $74 million to replace Dowling Middle School and expand Grady Middle School.

-- $126 million to replace Askew, Condit, Kelso, MacGregor, and Parker elementary schools.

-- $67 million to "renovate and make building additions at K. Smith Elementary, replace inadequate facilities and renovate Tijerina Elementary, and build a new elementary school on the district's west end to reduce overcrowding.

An additional $225 million would be used district-wide:

-- $100 million for technology upgrades at all HISD schools

-- $42.7 million for athletic facility improvements

-- $35 million for middle school restroom renovations

-- $27 million for safety and security improvements

-- $20 million for land acquisition.

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