Board Calls For May 4 Bond Election
The Allen ISD Board of Trustees has approved a bond proposal that would fund a number of school renovations, improvements and upgrades over the next five years. The $422,800,000 proposal will now be included on the May 4, 2019 ballot for Allen ISD voters to consider. If approved, the sale of bonds would not increase the existing Allen ISD debt service tax rate.
The proposal originated from the Allen ISD Project SOAR Facilities Committee. The citizen’s committee was formed by the Board in October 2018 to review the school district’s current and future facility needs. Committee chairs Rev. Todd Harris and Bill Savage outlined the recommendations in a presentation to the Board on January 23.
The committee used as its guide, the school district’s commitment to providing state of the art facilities; ensuring that all campuses are furnished equitably; and giving all students the learning tools and environments that prepare them to thrive in a changing world.
Projects and initiatives included in the May 4 bond proposal include:
New Construction – Allen HS Agricultural Science Center
Build a new Agricultural Science Center on Greenville Avenue on land south of Ridgemont Drive to replace the 40-year-old facility in Lucas.
Campus Life Cycle Renovations
Allen ISD has sought to upgrade and renovate campuses on a 15 to 17 year cycle. The committee recommended that the district continue that renovation schedule. Campuses that would need renovation between 2020 and 2025 would include: Boon Elementary, Chandler Elementary, Evans Elementary, Olson Elementary and Cheatham Elementary; Curtis and Ereckson Middle Schools; the AHS Athletic facility, additional portions of Allen High School and portions of the AISD Administration Building. The middle schools would be renovated over a two-year period and the high school renovation would be part of the five-year plan already underway at Allen High School.
Athletic Facility Improvements
Track resurfacing at AHS Track Stadium and Lowery
Shade structure and upgrades to AHS tennis facility
Shade structures at AHS baseball and softball facilities
Turf replacement at Eagle Stadium, AHS Track Stadium, Lowery, and Curits Middle School
Purchase 35 new school buses (phased over a 5-year period)
Additional communications (radio), maintenance and safety equipment
Safe and Secure Schools
Installation of safety doors, secure window frames and upgrades to building access control systems and security camera systems
Expansion of the wide area network (WAN)
Upgrades to campus and classroom technology to increase accessibility and improve speed and quality
Upgrades to classroom multimedia technology
Implement a mobile device purchase and replacement system to place more mobile devices in the hands of students and teachers.
The Board of Trustees voted on the 2019 bond proposal at a special meeting on February 11. All of the proposed projects would be completed between 2019 and 2024. The school district will carry out a bond information campaign for the community over the next two months through public meetings, mailings and online resources.
The 20-member Project SOAR Committee was comprised of parents, community members and business leaders. Similar study group helped research and recommend bond projects in previous bond elections going back to 1990.
Financial projections presented to the Board showed the proposed bond projects could be funded by the sale of bonds with no increase to the school district tax rate.
“We were very pleased with the work of the committee and recommendations,” said John Montgomery, president of the Board of Trustees. “The bond proposition accomplishes three main objectives for the school district: maintaining equitable and quality facilities; providing access to technology for all students; and providing a safe environment for students and staff.”
“We appreciate the time and effort put into the facility study and recommendations,” added Montgomery. “The committee members and staff have worked hard to the school district’s benefit since October and we thank them all.”