Amy Jensen is very invested in the Killeen Independent School District. Her family has lived in the district for 13 years, and her children attend Harker Heights Elementary.
That’s one reason she agreed to serve as a member of KISD’s bond steering committee.
“I’m willing and eager to help in any capacity I can,” Jensen said Thursday evening at the committee’s first meeting, held at Harker Heights High School.
Of more than 100 individuals invited by KISD to serve on the bond steering committee, 52 have agreed to be part of a process that will determine how much the proposed bond election will request from taxpayers in May 2018.
Superintendent John Craft introduced the committee chairs — former KISD board member Brenda Coley and Hal Schiffman, Harker Heights mayor pro tem and president-elect of the KISD Education Foundation. The third chairman, former board member Bill Kliewer, was not present at the meeting.
The three chairs will lead the committee in achieving its goal of compiling recommendations about the proposed bond issue to the KISD Board of Trustees.
Other committee members in attendance numbered 30. Corbett Lawler, Minerva Trujillo, Susan Jones, Shelley Wells and JoAnn Purser from the KISD Board of Trustees were present, causing the gathering to be considered an actual KISD board meeting.
Fourteen KISD staff members sat at some of the tables.
“We’re on a very, very accelerated time schedule,” Craft said. He added that the plan is to be very transparent about the entire bond issue process.
The bond process was presented as a series of 16 steps, starting with conducting a facility assessment and running through project construction.
An overview of KISD’s last $98.72 million bond election in 2002 was included in the presentation, along with information about KISD capacity and demographic projections.
According to figures presented by Craft, the student population has grown over the past 15 years by 12,968 students. A continued growth rate of 1 percent annually is projected for the district.
Three of the four KISD high schools are over capacity.
Adam Rich, KISD executive director of facilities services, presented an overview of current facilities. Eight elementary school buildings are over 50 years old, in need of renovations or repairs. One middle school, Gateway alternative high school and Killeen High School are also over 50 years old and require attention to bring them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and repair structural and other flaws.
In order to provide a central location for documents presented at the bond steering committee meetings, a website has been created where videos of the meetings will also be posted: www.killeenisdbsc.org
Questions about the bond process and projects under consideration can be submitted via the website, as well, Craft said.
The next bond steering committee meeting will be Nov. 9 at East Ward Elementary School.