Trustees of the Alvin Independent School District (AISD) unanimously authorized the issuance of $178.9 million in bonds which became obtainable after voters approved the bond proposal last November with a near 68% majority. The funds will finance the new High School planned for the Shadow Creek Ranch area of Pearland, the new Manvel Junior High School, and two elementary schools, one in Alvin and one in the west part of the district. Funds are expected to be made available as soon as February 2014 so that construction can begin quickly.
District advisors have suggested the issuance of a combination of debt instruments, some with fixed interest rates and some with adjustable interest rates. The peak tax rate to be realized by taxpayers is projected to not exceed 40.3 cents, which is consistent with pre-election assurances. Advisors claim the use of adjustable rates will save taxpayers about 3 cents on their overall tax rate.
Short term asset items included in the bond election, such as computers, band instruments, security upgrades, and buses, will be funded from the Maintenance and Operations Budget and not financed. The balance of bond funds approved by voters, $61.3 million, is expected to be issued in January 2015 and will be used for the acquisition of future school sites and the district athletic stadium, natatorium, and satellite transportation facility.
Subsequent to the bond authorization, Trustees approved a construction contract for the construction of the Manvel Junior High School that will be located on land just north of Manvel High School. The amount of the contract is $28,730,470. Construction is expected to commence early in 2014 and district officials plan to have the school ready for operation by August 2015 in time for the start of the 2015-2016 school year. The building will be of the same design as other recently constructed junior highs in the district and will be intended to accommodate 900 students.
The contract amount includes a construction alternate at the High School campus to build lab space to accommodate the master plan of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program which will expand programs for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and Construction Trades. The amount of the alternate is $660,501.
According to district officials, the permitting review by the City of Manvel is complete, which allows for construction to commence once the building permit is issued.
The Board of Trustees also acknowledged Assistant Superintendent Tommy King for his 26 years of service in presenting a resolution in his honor. Board President Tiffany Wennerstrom expressed appreciation for his loyal and dedicated service to the Alvin Independent School District saying he “made lasting contributions to Alvin ISD by leading the development and construction of district facilities during our transition to a fast growth school district.” She called him “a pillar in this community.” King worked under five Superintendents while at AISD and personally served as interim Superintendent before the appointment of current leader Fred Brent. Under his stewardship AISD has achieved 11 consecutive superior ratings on the financial integrity rating system of Texas. The Board is expected to take up a plan for his replacement at their January meeting.