Trustees of Ector County Independent School District gave the green light last week to the sale of the first tranche from $129.8 million of general obligation bonds approved by Texas voters in November 2012.

The bonds are expected to go to market in mid-February.

Proceeds will be used by the district to build three new elementary schools and expand two high schools.

The new schools are expected to cost $57 million.

The $72.6 million in renovations at the high schools are intended to provide space for another 1,000 students at each campus.

Ector County Independent School District serves the city of Odessa and several small incorporated and unincorporated areas in an area of more than 900 square miles.

Enrollment is more than 28,000 students, and is increasing steadily as a result of increased oil and gas activity in West Texas.

Its credit is rated Aa2 by Moody’s and AA by Standard & Poor’s.

The credit is enhanced to triple-A with coverage by the state’s Permanent School Fund.

District voters approved $90 million of GO bonds in 2000.

The new debt requires an increase in the district’s property tax rate of 5.8 cents per $100 of assessed value.

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