DALLAS — Austin Community College District will wait until 2014 before asking voters for almost $500 million of general obligation bonds.
Trustees voted Aug. 19 to postpone the bond election for the central Texas district until next year.
A bond committee recommended funding 11 capital projects with the bond proceeds, including a $70 million campus in the Austin suburb of Leander.
Projects on the $499 million bond list also include expansions of three of the district's eight campuses, renovations to academic buildings across the multi-county district, and land acquisition for future schools. The bond committee recommended adding child care facilities because many of the students are parents of young children.
Trustee Allen Kaplan said an election in November 2014 would give the board and voters a better chance to determine what should be included in the bond package. Development of a long-term academic plan must happen first, he said.
"The academic master plan is absolutely key to where this college is going to go," Kaplan said. "We need to digest things and see how that informs what we eventually put on the ballot."
More voters will go to the polls for the general election in 2014 than at this November's off-year election, Kaplan said.
The district covers 1,250 square miles in Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Williamson counties.
The college district's $120 million of outstanding GO debt is rated Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service and AA-plus by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch. The district's $120 million of lease revenue debt is rated Aa3 by Moody's and AA by Standard & Poor's. Fitch does not rate the revenue debt.