The face of the Killeen Independent School District will change in the years to come, thanks to a proposed $426 million bond issue that will be presented to the KISD board of trustees at Tuesday’s meeting.
The recommendation includes selections from a list of projects created by KISD officials, which were presented with cost estimates during a series of meetings in November.
The bond steering committee was composed of more than 50 residents of the community who agreed to serve after KISD officials invited over 100 to be part of the committee.
If the board approves the bond issue recommendation, voters would be able to cast their ballots for or against the measure during the May 5 municipal election.
The KISD bond steering committee agreed to include the following list of projects in the bond issue:
• Renovations to bring existing campuses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and address security/safety issues.
• A new high school to open for 2022-2023 school year (No. 65 on the map).
• Consolidation of East Ward and West Ward elementary schools with construction of a new East Ward school.
• Consolidation of Pershing Park and Sugar Loaf elementary schools, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School, and construction of a new Pershing Park school.
• A new elementary school to open for 2022-2023 school year, location to be determined.
• Renovate and expand Clifton Park Elementary School, with partial rezoning of Bellaire Elementary School.
• Renovations to Killeen High School.
KISD Superintendent John Craft told the bond steering committee at the Nov. 2 meeting that the district primarily needs new schools because of overcrowding, and an expected annual projected student population growth of 1 percent over the next 10 years.
A graph was presented at that meeting showing current overcrowding at the four KISD high schools.
Craft detailed how that overcrowding is somewhat relieved by the students attending the Early College High School and taking classes at the Career Center. Currently, over 1,700 students attend classes half-days at the Career Center, with over 200 students attending classes for the full day. .
As the student population continues to grow, Craft added, additional schools will be needed to prevent the addition of more portable classrooms.
Over 200 portable classrooms are currently in use throughout the district, according to Craft. Of that number, 59 portable classrooms are located at the four KISD high schools.
Construction of new schools could eliminate nearly two-thirds of the district’s portable classrooms, Craft said.
Another factor under consideration for the district to move quickly toward a bond issue, Craft said, was escalating construction costs.
Normal cost escalation could be seriously impacted by the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma earlier this year, Craft said, and high demand not just for materials, but also for skilled laborers to work on building projects.
Renovation projects included in the bond recommendation arose because a number of KISD school buildings are over 50 years old and need to be brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Craft said.
The KISD bond steering committee gave high priority to these renovations, including increasing secure access to existing school buildings to ensure student safety.
The map shows current schools in the district, along with special campuses, closed schools and the locations — where known — of new schools, according to KISD officials.
The district doesn’t have records of construction costs for all of these schools, officials said.
KISD currently has 32 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, four high schools and other campuses such as the Early College High School and the Career Center in the district.
The schools are numbered 1 to 48 on the map.
Special campuses, such as Gateway Middle and High School, the Career Center, and the KISD administration building are numbered 49-58 on the map.
The district still owns three schools that are now closed. These are numbered 59-61 on the map.
Duncan Elementary is on Fort Hood. According to Craft, that facility was closed at the end of the 2016-2017 school year “due to declining enrollment which, in turn, causes inefficiencies in many areas,” according to Terry Abbott, KISD chief communications officer, citing minutes of a KISD board of trustees meeting.
The old Fowler Elementary School was closed at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
The Feb. 11, 2014, KISD board minutes say Fowler was “the district’s most expensive campus on a general revenue, per student, basis. By closing that campus and redistributing the students to Clifton Park, East Ward and West Ward, the receiving campuses would become more efficient.”
The Fowler building was later leased for $1 per year to Texas A&M University-Central Texas which, in turn, leased the building to Oak Creek Academy.
The Fairway Middle School building most recently provided housing for evacuees of Hurricane Harvey.
The school closed at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, due to declining enrollment, as noted in the KISD board minutes from Jan. 13, 2009.
The KISD board voted to place the Fairway property up for sale at its Sept. 12, 2017, meeting, but bids submitted in early November were later rejected by the board.
Craft has referenced using Fairway as a “swing school” during the consolidation process for East Ward and West Ward elementary schools.
While Duncan and Fairway sit empty, the KISD board voted to move forward on a new elementary school to be built on Morganite Lane. The school will open for the 2019-2020 school year.
Construction on a new middle school will begin sometime in 2018 at a site on Warriors Path. That school is slated to open for the 2020-2021 school year.
These construction projects will be paid from currently available district funds. These new schools are numbered 63 and 64 on the map.
In the weeks to come, KISD officials — with assistance from various professional firms — will develop a strategy to present information to the public on the bond issue and its projects.
KISD officials have not responded to questions regarding the cost of the marketing effort or whether taxpayer dollars will be used to cover those costs.
If the bond issue is approved by voters, property taxes on a home assessed at $143,000 would rise about $244 per year, according to figures presented by Baselice & Associates at the Nov. 30 bond steering committee meeting. This amount does not take into consideration a homestead exemption or other exemptions.
Information from the bond steering committee presentations, video recordings of those meetings and other documents are available at www.killeenisdbsc.org.
The public may also submit questions and comments related to the bond process on the website.
Key to KISD map
|#||School||Grade||Built||Age||Cost||Unknown field 6|
|1||Alice W. Douse||Elementary||2017||0||$30.26|
|8||Dr. Joseph A. Fowler||Elementary||2014||3||$16.13||*|
|14||Ira Cross Jr.||Elementary||2002||15||unavailable|
|20||Oveta Culp Hobby||Elementary||2004||13||unavailable|
|24||Richard E. Cavazos||Elementary||2009||8||$14.14||*|
|34||Charles E. Patterson||Middle||2009||8||$19.21||*|
|37||Live Oak Ridge||Middle||2002||15||unavailable|
|42||Roy J. Smith||Middle||2017||0||$46.70|
|47a||Early College-Fort Hood||High||1976||41||unavailable|
|48||Robert W. Shoemaker||High||1996||21||unavailable|
|* does not include fixtures, furniture and equipment|
|49||Bell Cty Juvenile Detention/JJAEP|
|53||Pathways Academic Campus||2011||6||unavailable|
|55||Jackson Professional Learning Center (formerly Marlboro Elementary)||1954||63||unavailable|
|56||Killeen Learning Support Services (formerly Rancier Middle)||1943||74||unavailable|
|58||Technology Services Ctr|
|Schools Closed but still owned by KISD|
|60||Fowler Elementary||now leased to Texas A&M-Central Texas||1956||61||unavailable|
|61||Fairway Middle School||1955||62||unavailable|
|62||Career and Technical Education||now maintenance facility - Atkinson facility||1972||45||unavailable|
|New School Sites|
|63||Elementary School #35||$37.13|
|64||Middle School #14||$54.03|
|Data compiled from information obtained from KISD.|
|Cost information on older schools no longer available, according to KISD officials.|
254-501-7568 | email@example.com