Comal ISD trustees eye 2020 bond

Comal Independent School District trustees spent about two hours reviewing potential projects for the district’s 2020 bond during a workshop last week.

Steve Stanford, the district’s executive communications director, said trustees considered feedback from the last Comal Forward committee meeting and Mike McCullar, the district’s executive director of construction and facilities management, on possible capital projects and improvements to include in the next CISD bond election on May 2.

“We have identified $496 million in potential projects that address enrollment growth, our existing facilities, land, buses, technology, and safety and security,” Stanford said. “It also includes funding for a student events center.”

The bond will add two elementary schools by 2022 and a middle school by 2023. Elementary schools are planned in the district’s Interstate 35 corridor and east on State Highway 46, with the middle school planned in the Johnson Ranch area near U.S. 281 and FM 1863.

In November, trustees discussed a bond split into two propositions. One tentatively allotted $209.2 million — for the new schools (combined $125 million); capital improvements ($36 million); safety, security and technology ($14.2 million); land acquisitions ($25 million) and school buses ($9 million); the second totaled $130 million for the all-events center.

On Thursday, McCullar introduced $157 million more in possible improvements, accounting for the $496 million in projects under consideration. 

Stanford said board members on Thursday also voiced support for adding another $5 million toward land acquisitions. 

“We do not expect $496 million as the total amount of the next bond,” Stanford said. “At the January board meeting we will present a further refined list of projects that will be less than that amount.”

Stanford said Senate Bill 30, approved by the 86th Legislature last session, mandates certain categories of school district bond measures be listed as separate ballot propositions.

“We’re looking to get clarification from the Attorney General’s office on all of that,” Stanford said. “We were already planning for the two propositions, but there might be more.”

Stanford said the bond election has to be called by Feb. 14, with trustees set to meet in regular session Jan. 30 and in special session on Feb. 13.

“We will present a package of various propositions for the board to consider during their meeting on Jan. 30,” he said.

Both trustees meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in the Comal ISD Support Services Center Boardroom, 1404 Interstate 35 North in New Braunfels. For more, visit the district’s website, comalisd.org.

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