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Temple ISD proposes 'fine arts academy,' ending portables in new bond

Posted at 10:03 AM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 11:17:10-05

TEMPLE, Texas — After an unsuccessful election in November, Temple ISD’s multi-million dollar bond will be back on the ballot this May, but with a few tweaks.

“We stand at $164.8 million," said Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott.

"The tax impact is less than 3 cents. That’s incredible because if you remember in November, that rate was about 12 to 12 1/ half cents,”

The superintendent said that they will cut seven projects from the proposed bond this time around, including the plan for improvements to the Wildcats stadium.

“That was $6.6 million dollars, so that’s completely out,” said Ott.

The new bond does include eliminating portable classrooms, security improvements and around $38 million for a new elementary school.

“That new elementary school will be fine arts academy," said Ott.

"It will have theater and it will have orchestra, which most elementary schools across the state do not have those programs,”

Dr. Ott said they expect to see 400 new homes a year for the next 5 years, which is why the new school is a must-have.

“If you say no to a new elementary school, here’s what you’re saying yesterday, you’re saying yes to more portables," said Ott.

"Which is something the community, since 10 years ago, has been trying to get rid of,”

Ott said they have 20 portables on campus, half the amount they had 10 years ago.

He also said they would have to look at rezoning the district if this bond fails.

From Temple ISD:

The most significant bond projects include preparations for growth that were part of the 2021 Demographic Study as well as safety and security updates:

  • Construction of a new elementary campus (Fine Arts Academy) in the southeast quadrant 
  • Expansion of instructional space at three campuses - Scott Elementary, Bonham Middle School and Temple High School 
  • Eliminating remaining portables at seven campuses 
  • Addition of security vestibules at three remaining campuses - Hector P. Garcia, Kennedy-Powell, and Raye-Allen 
  • Construction of a new auxiliary services building 

If approved in May, Temple ISD taxpayers will see an approximate $1.48 per month increase in property taxes for a home valued at $100,000.

Citizens that are 65 years of age and older would not be impacted if they have filed for and received a homestead exemption with the State of Texas.

For more information about the bond, click here.