Belton ISD school board approves plans for new high school, bond election

Belton ISD school board approves plans for new high school, bond election
Posted at 8:22 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:07-04

On Monday, the Belton Independent School Board approved a plan to address the need for additional capacity due to the increase in enrollment.

The district explains in a statement “Roadmap to BISD 2025” calls for building a new elementary school and a new high school. In addition, Bhs9, which is part of the high school campus, to serve as a middle school again.

According to Belton ISD, the district’s enrollment has grown by nearly 3,500 students and the enrollment is projected to have a similar growth for the next decade. The district’s elementary school is expected to be at or near capacity in 2019, the middle schools in 2020 and the high schools in 2021.

Before construction starts, the funding needs to be approved by voters. According to a Belton ISD news release, trustees tentatively call for a bond election in 2017 to build the new campuses.  

If approved by voters in 2017, construction of the new elementary school could begin that year with the campus opening in August 2019. Construction on the high school would likely start in 2018 with that campus opening in August 2021.

“For three years, our school board has carefully studied the district’s fast growth and facilities needs. It has been an open, inclusive and thorough process with extensive input from our community,” said Superintendent Susan Kincannon. "As a result, the plan that the board adopted is student-centered and will make sure that Belton ISD continues to be a leader in preparing every student to excel in tomorrow’s world.”

School board members also authorized refunding some of the district’s bonds, which were issued in 2010 to fund the construction of South Belton Middle School. Those bonds were issued at interest rates of 4.375% to 5%, and current market rates are closer to 3%. By refunding the bonds at the current rates, taxpayers are projected to save $800,000, according to a Belton ISD release.

 “When local residents pay their property taxes or vote to approve a bond issue, they’re trusting us to be good stewards of their tax dollars,” said Board president Randy Pittenger. “Whether we’re planning for our future facilities needs or refunding bonds to save taxpayers millions, it’s a responsibility that we take seriously.”

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