MONEY

It could be seen as a case of sticker shock.

At Thursday night’s Killeen Independent School District bond steering committee meeting, held at the KISD Career Center, members of the committee learned that the total cost of projects under consideration for the potential bond issue could exceed $700 million.

That’s $200 million more than the highest estimate for the bond issue presented at the committee’s Nov. 9 meeting.

Along with a copy of the evening’s PowerPoint presentation, each bond steering committee member received a sheet on which the projects under consideration were listed, along with their estimated cost ranges.

No total was listed on the sheet, but simple addition saw the high-end total topping $700 million.

The projects being considered by the committee for the potential bond issue include three new elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new high school. Just those projects exceed $400 million in costs.

Renovations to existing facilities, or consolidations of older facilities involving construction of new schools, tops $300 million.

The suggestions of consolidating East Ward and West Ward elementary schools, located on Killeen’s north side, was one of the line items to be prioritized. Also, a consolidation plan for Sugar Loaf, Pershing Park and Bellaire elementaries, all located near U.S. 190, is on the list.

One of the bond steering committee chairs, Brenda Coley, has been pleased with the committee’s progress so far.

“It’s a huge group of engaged community leaders,” she said of the 50-plus-member committee.

Originally, over 100 residents of the district were invited to be part of the bond steering committee, which began meeting on Nov. 2. A total of four meetings were originally scheduled, each held at a different school in the district.

As for the potential bond issue, Coley said, “I trust the leadership in the district to use the money wisely.”

KISD board member Shelley Wells said she appreciates how much information the committee is receiving, in order to make conscious decisions.

“I wish the general public would go on the website and read the information,” Wells said.

That information includes documents and videos of the meetings, along with time lines that reflect how the district plans to meet a Feb. 16 deadline for the KISD board to call for a bond election on the May 5, 2018 ballot.

The exact amount of the bond issue has not yet been decided. The bond steering committee is charged with making a recommendation about the projects to be included, and the amount, to the KISD board at its Dec. 12 meeting.

At last week’s meeting, RBC Capital presented possible scenarios ranging from $175 million to $500 million for the bond issue, and the property tax impact for residents of the district. Owners of a home assessed at $150,000 with a homestead exemption would see a rise in property taxes between $44 and $209 per year, depending on the size of the bond package.

The bond steering committee’s next meeting will be held Nov. 30 at Roy J. Smith Middle School. If the recommendation for the KISD board is not finalized then, an additional meeting may be held on Dec. 7.

All information about the bond steering committee meetings can be found on the website: www.killeenisdbsc.org. The public can also submit questions and comments about the bond process on the website.

254-501-7568 | jferraro@kdhnews.com

(9) comments

eyewatchingu

@Alvin We had modular units when I went to public schools, they were no different ten any other class room. Actually enjoyed the walk to them, and sometimes even had a chance to grab a drink of water and enjoy a chat with my friends along the way.
This bond has gotten way out of hand, it is in no way wanting to benefit students, it is only wanting to benefit political career, something pretty on a resume'
By the time this is paid off I will be 77 years old, yet before 30 years is up the city will see at lest another 5-10 bond votes. It will never be a ending cycle.
For most of us in Dist 1 that own homes we will find our selves with no chance of digging ourselves out, instead we find that even dreaming of leaving our kids the home, or a little monies after we die, will just be a pipe dream instead of an American dream. Our children will be paying for this debt even before they own their own homes.
Firstly, so many empty apartment building in Dist 1 that could be turned into over follow schools, or city private schools, there is way other ways to builds schools now a days.
Yet I still say, our school need to learn how to time management when it comes to class schedules and lunch's time. The problem Is simple management. As we can see by the way they are steering this steering committee. The failure to be able to do simple math, and not even knowing that a poll is not scientific is and should be the wake up call to everyone in the city.
VOTE NO TO THIS BOND

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

It is still UNKNOWN to us sheeple how much money was wasted, embezzled, or stolen during the SCHLECHTY debacle.
..........................................................

The website: https://www.schlechtycenter.org

During the SCHLECHTY era luxury travel, (even INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL) luxury hotels, naughty parties, lots of booze, etc..., etc..., etc..., was bought using the filthy tax dollars stolen from us, the filthy, dumb sheeple. ................................................................................................. Baa baa baa baa baa

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@TexaSoldier: No I do not think that we have to assure our students of the lap of luxury. No I do not think that this school board should be building monuments to our history either.

I have suggested and I'll suggest it again, look at modular units that can be put up rather cheaply and when the school attendance is increased, more modules can be erected, and when the school attendance is decreased, it can be removed and erected where the attendance is increasing. If a school is no longer needed, with the modular aspect, it can be relocated, or stored. Look at the elementary school that is no longer needed, buy high, sell low to a speculator that is just looking for a good deal on property.

To me, this is out of the question, a $700 billion dollar bond. I say NO to this venture. When the school board wakes up from their nap and agrees to get down to business, then I will take a look at what they are proposing.

When you can't get a reasonable estimate, and I say that a bulging at the seams and they get one that is 28 percent higher,then it borders on the ridiculous. No, I will not vote for a package that is absurd as this one is.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

TexaSoldier

@Alvin $700 million is most assuredly a lot of money... but I hope they put the bond in for $900mil or a billion dollars. There has to be a tipping point that will wake people up and vote the whole thing down. EVERY property owner should vote NO!

Since I'm already posting again, I thought I would an observation. Of my many projects right now, one is to take a lot of family super8 film from the '60s and '70s and convert them to digital video and edit them to add context for the next generation. The most recent film conversion/edit had a relative filmed in her second grade class in a Temple elementary around 1960.

After posting the video, my comment to the family was, "Why are we not just useful idiots today?! Look at the deplorable conditions we had to suffer through while getting an education! Wooden chairs? Wooden desks? OMG! why are all the windows open? We didn't have air conditioning in the classrooms?! What's that on the desk? You mean our mothers had to make our lunch in little brown sacks?! How could we have learned anything under those barbaric conditions?"
.

TexaSoldier

This theft of the proletariat class by a board of socialist never ceases. $500 million one day, $400 million another, and not to be undone, $700 million today; at what point are we talking serious money on a service based economy? And, THIS is on top of an almost half billion dollar YEARLY budget! Could the KISD police department (not a security force but a police department) take hand-me-down crown victorias from KPD? of course they could.. but NO, they get NEW Dodge Chargers as if they are going to patrol Interstate 14.

There is absolutely NOTHING that these people will not waste your money on and there is NEVER an expenditure "for the CHILDREN" that they cant justify. In the last election cycle, I went to all the city council debates/forums and some included the school board debates/forums. NOT ONE school board candidate cared one wit about current KISD taxes on the property owners (mostly a military retirement community) and this was BEFORE this nonsense. Rainwater was the worst. He actually visually showed distain of my questions about accountability to the tax payer.

VOTE NO on this bond issue. Force these socialist to work within an already bloated KISD budget.

centexdave

Fed up yet with this bunch of liars that make up the school board?
Do two things: (1) Vote them all out, and (2) Vote NO on this ridiculous bond.

SnowWhiteNthe7Thieves

Don't listen to a scammer, a liar, or thief.

Whatever you are promised by a liar, a scammer, or thief; you'll never see.

What you will see doesn't matter.

What matters is that your money will disappear.

Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.

@eyewatchingu: I have to agree. These estimates are completely out of hand. When the school board, or as in this case, 'The Steering Committee' cannot control cost that are within 1.3 %, then we should be getting a new school board or setting aside the estimated costs of 'The Steering Committee' itself.

They did not even put a total cost on their estimate, but simple math put it at $700 million. Then I say 'This Steering Committee did not do their job, or they were given bad information to start with.

Anytime you say that the estimated increase for a home assessed at $150,000 with a homestead exemption would see a rise in property taxes of between $44 and $209 per year, something is effeminately wrong. Where is the cost elevation on a home that would have $150,000 assessment in which it would have a fluctuation of from $44 to $209 dollars in school taxes alone???? Does not the assessed value determine what the school tax is going to be???? Why is there such a assessed value of a home vary to such a degree as to be 'somewhere between $44 to $209 dollars'????
No I agree with the comments of @eyewatchingu:. If the KISD steering committee can not pare these costs down to a respectable level then I say 'Vote no on the school steering committee's bond assessment. Do not take any action at all until this school board and this KISD steering committee can get back on track and start presenting a more reasonable approach to what they propose to do right now and in the future.

This has been the personal opinion of this writer and nothing shall be used, in context or without or changed in any way without first notifying, and receiving explicit approval from this writer.
One of the 4.58 % who voted.

eyewatchingu

Vote no, as we see once again our so called leaders have no clue to what it means to live within your means.
I have a feeling this 700m bond will some how included a football stadium.

Vote NO on this bond and shut this wasteful spending
.
This April we the homeowners will have a chance at see a tax break. That means we the home owners will get a chance to catch up and not be forced to spend our hard earn money on waste, and political careers.
There is 13 gangs in our schools all steaming around the Bloods and the Gangster Disciples. New schools and football stadiums will give them a larger feeding and recruiting ground. Schools around Bases are also top priority to these gangs as the schools spend and waste money on failing schools, they use this to their advantage to draw in more soldiers for their gangs, Why do you think our Police need better armor for rifles
No mater how much lipstick you put on this school district its still a pimp to gangs, and black supremacy groups.
VOTE NO SAVE OUR KIDS FROM GANGS DEMAND the schools to rid the gang bangers from our schools or we will not give another dollar to them!

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