DALLAS — The Arlington Independent School District, Texas, needs $663 million to build new schools and upgrade existing facilities and transportation, according to a bond advisory committee.

Committee members urged AISD trustees to add two elementary schools, a $32 million fine arts center with a concert hall, a $46 million career and technical center, a $2.5 million agriculture center and a $25 million athletic complex with a natatorium and competition gymnasium.

The committee also called for converting two existing elementary schools into fine arts/dual language academies, adding two science labs and an art room to each elementary school, building six multipurpose activity centers at each high school, upgrading security and replacing buses and service vehicles.

Board members are scheduled to meet on Feb. 6 to decide whether to call a bond election in May or use its $468 million operating budget to pay for some of the capital improvement projects.

The district plans to issue $17.6 million of school building bonds the week of Feb. 3 in a negotiated deal led by Wells Fargo Securities. The bonds carry the Texas Permanent School Fund's triple-A rating, with underlying ratings of AA from Standard & Poor's, and Aa1 from Moody's Investors Service. Fitch Ratings does not rate the bonds.

After this deal, Arlington ISD will have $462.8 million of debt outstanding, according to Moody's.

The population of the district in the Mid-Cities region of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex grew 57.4% between the 1980 and 1990. Another increase of 24% occurred between the 1990 and 2000 census years and an increase of 15% between 2000 and 2010 brought the population to 380,000.

School officials report that there is some retail development occurring near the Dallas Cowboys football stadium and along the Interstate 20 corridor on the city's south side that could add value to the base in the future. The stadium itself, valued around $1.1 billion, is city of Arlington property and therefore is not subject to taxation.

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