DALLAS — A citizens advisory committee has recommended a November election on a $252.6 million general obligation bond referendum by the Alvin, Texas, Independent School District.
The proposed project list includes building a third high school and buying land in for the fast-growing Houston-area district for its seventh middle school.
School trustees must decide in August whether to call an election in November.
Voters approved $70 million of GO bonds requested by the district in 2009. Bonds were also authorized at elections in 2000, 2003, and 2005.
Alvin Independent School District’s $267 million of outstanding GO debt is rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service and A-plus by Standard & Poor’s. The credit is enhanced to triple-A with coverage by the Texas Permanent School Fund.
Approval of the bonds will not require an increase in the district’s property tax rate of $1.33 on $100 of assessed value, which includes a debt service levy of 29 cents. Total assessed valuation in the district was $5.3 billion in fiscal 2013.
Consideration of a bond referendum was deferred a couple of years ago because of economic concerns, said David Becker, co-chair of the advisory panel.
“In 2011, the committee recommended that the district not move forward with a bond referendum due to the economic climate, which in turn has increased the current needs of the district,” said Becker.
The decision to build more schools is based on a detailed study of enrollment trends and the area’s demographics, Becker said
The Brazoria County district, which is located about 25 miles southeast of Houston, has seen its enrollment grow by almost 6% a year since 2005. Alvin Independent School District expects to add 800 to 900 new students a year for the next five years, Becker said.
The city of Alvin recorded a 61% increase in population from 2000 to 2010 to almost 87,000.
The student population has grown by 4,000 in the last five years. The 900 new students in 2012 brought the total enrollment to almost 19,000.
District spokesman Daniel Combs said a telephone poll in June indicate that the public favors the bond proposal.
“We did some surveys within the community and the results showed support for the need,” he said.
Six of the district’s elementary schools are expected to exceed their permanent capacity in the 2013-2014 school year, as will Alvin Junior High and Nolan Ryan Junior High.
Bond proceeds would fund one high school estimated to cost more than $100 million, build the district’s 16th elementary school, and replace an existing elementary school.
Land would also be purchased for two additional elementary schools and another middle school.
The new high school would be built in the Pearland area on land purchased with proceeds from the 2009 bond authorization. Alvin High School will be renovated and expanded.
Other bond-funded projects include a new vocational agriculture facility, campus safety and security improvements, and new school buses.