DALLAS — The Judson Independent School District in Texas will allow voters on Nov. 2 to choose among separate components of a $198.8 million general obligation bond package.
The three-part ballot will include $63.6 million for renovations of 21 existing district facilities, $61.7 million for two new elementary schools and land for additional campuses, and $73.5 million for a new high school and an education support center that will include a library and natatorium.
Judson ISD, in northeast Bexar County, includes the cities of Converse and Kirby, and portions of San Antonio, Selma, Universal City, and Live Oak.
The district’s $398 million of outstanding debt is rated AA-minus by Fitch Ratings and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service. The debt is enhanced to triple-A by its coverage from the Texas Permanent School Fund.
SAMCO Capital Markets Inc. is the district’s financial adviser. Fulbright & Jaworski LLP is bond counsel.
Voters approved a $59.6 million debt package in 2006 after rejecting bond ballot requests in 1999 and 2000.
If all three measures pass, property taxes on a $150,000 home in the district would go up by $5 over the next five years.
James Keith, a spokesman for the district, said trustees opted for a multi-part request after a telephone survey of voters earlier this month.
The polling took place after a citizens bond committee recommended the projects be financed by the bonds, and before trustees voted unanimously on Aug. 19 to set the election.
Keith said the board considered four ballot proposals, including a single question for the full $198.8 million.
“A telephone survey of 300 residents was conducted because the board wanted to know the priorities of the voters,” Keith said. “Ultimately, that was how the trustees came up with the three-part proposal.”
The study found that 61% of voters were opposed to a single $198 million proposal, but the approval level rose to 46%, with 48% still in opposition, when each proposal was considered separately.
Keith said the bond projects were determined by a citizens committee that looked at existing facilities and projections for significant increases in enrollment over the next decade.
“We’re a growing district, no doubt about that,” he said. “We’re growing at about 1,000 students a year and that will continue due to staffing increases at Fort Sam Houston and Randolph Air Force Base.”
Assessed property valuations in Judson ISD rose by 11% annually to $5.9 billion between fiscal 2005 and 2009.