MONEY

A bond steering committee beginning work to determine which projects might be included on a forthcoming Killeen Independent School District bond issue was presented with an overview of past bond elections.

The committee, which met for the first time Thursday, will help determine the projects to be included on the planned 2018 bond issue and the amount of money to be sought from taxpayers, according to the “Charge of the Committee” statement.

Meetings take place at various locations through November. The first was at Harker Heights High School.

The last bond elections by KISD and the city of Killeen occurred in 2002.

In 2002, KISD requested $98.7 million for construction of Oveta Culp Hobby, Timber Ridge, Skipcha and Saegert elementary schools. Audie Murphy Middle School was also funded by the bond issue. Partial funding for Iduma and Meadows elementary schools, and Union Grove Middle School was part of the 2002 bond issue, as well.

The addition of classrooms and physical education facilities were funded by the bond issue.

The KISD bond election was held Feb. 2, 2002, and passed.

Classrooms, including science labs, were added to schools throughout the district as part of the funding from the bond issue, according to Killeen Daily Herald archives.

The bond issue covered the costs of renovations and repairs to other schools.

Prior to that, an $80.285 million bond election was held in 1998. In 1992, taxpayers approved the district’s $46.325 million bond issue. Two other bond elections — $21 million in 1988 and $8.275 million in 1975 — were also approved.

The city of Killeen’s bond election Nov. 5, 2002, asked the public to approve $69 million in general obligation bonds to cover a variety of projects.

The city’s request was divided into four propositions, which voters considered separately.

Proposition 1 covered reconstruction of five major thoroughfares, major rehabilitation on 12 streets, signals for nine intersections, modifications on four roadways and synchronizing traffic signals on three streets. The cost was $23 million.

Slightly more than $23.25 million was the stated cost of Proposition 2. The projects listed for that amount were a new police facility and fire station numbers 8 and 9. Also included were a new fire training tower and drill field, installation of smoke removal systems at all fire stations, and a new kennel and crematory for the Killeen Animal Control facility.

The $18.04 million requested in Proposition 3 was used for construction of the Family Recreation Center and Senior Citizens Center complex at Lions Club Park, along with the Westside Recreation Center/Park development.

Long Branch Recreation Center and pool renovations were also part of Proposition 3, as was a proposed maintenance and equipment facility, and multi-purpose field lighting and a restroom/concession facility at the community center.

A skateboard and neighborhood park, development of six neighborhood parks in the city, and community center renovations were included in this portion of the bond election.

Proposition 4 was the only section of the bond election to be defeated, according to Hilary Shine, spokeswoman for the city of Killeen.

The $4.7 million request would have covered constructing and equipping a building for the city’s finance, information technology, EMS billing, utility collection and volunteer services departments.

Currently, KISD is seeking to call for a school bond issue on the May 5 ballot. Nearly $500 million is needed to construct new schools listed on the district’s Strategic Facility Plan and perform necessary repairs and renovations at 12 older school buildings, according to the district’s Powerpoint presentation given at Thursday’s bond steering committee meeting. . The district is in the process of determining the amount of the bond issue.

The construction projects are necessary due to continued growth in the district and current overcrowding in the schools, Craft has said at previous KISD board meetings.

The bond steering committee is charged “to bring forward a plan to the KISD board of trustees that will include recommendations as to what should be included and how much money should be requested in a possible bond election,” the document reads.

The bond steering committee could also consider recommending the KISD bond issue be presented to voters as separate propositions, according to Terry Abbott, KISD chief communications officer. That would allow voters to select which projects to approve for funding.

Potential projects to be considered for the bond issue include a new high school, estimated to cost $173 million, and a new football stadium, which KISD superintendent John Craft said would cost about $50 million.

Three additional elementary schools are listed on the Strategic Facility Plan, along with another middle school.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

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