DALLAS — Fort Worth Independent School District officials outlined $585 million of essential needs Monday as trustees consider a November general obligation bond referendum.

Proposed project lists provided by Superintendent Walter Dansby ranged from a high of $777 million to a floor of $585 million.

Trustees could call the election at an Aug. 23 session. The referendum must be set by Aug. 26 to make the Nov. 5 ballot. The next available election date would be May 2014

"The first scenario ($585 million) is very essential to the operations and for student achievements," Dansby said.

The lowest option would fund construction of a new high school and add 300 new classrooms at existing campuses, Dansby said. Projects also include renovating two schools and adding pre-kindergarten space at 14 schools.

Current facilities cannot accommodate the growing student population, Dansby said.

"We have overcrowding all over the school district," he said. "We've made every effort to address that based on the demographic study and future projections."

A $667.5 million bond package would add a new performing and fine arts school, new buses and trucks, and student band uniforms and instruments.

The top option of $777 million also would fund new field houses at the high schools and artificial turf for practice fields.

Approval of a $777 million bond package would require a property tax increase of 9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, Deputy Superintendent Hank Johnson said. The increase would be 5.5 cents for $585.5 million of new debt, he said.

The school district's interest and sinking rate is currently 28.2 cents per $100, Johnson said.

Fort Worth Independent School District's $780 million of outstanding GO debt is rated Aa1 by Moody's Investors Service and AA by Standard & Poor's. The credit is enhanced to triple-A with coverage by the state's Permanent School Fund bond guarantee program.

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