The Killeen school board Tuesday voted to adopt the order authorizing the issuance, sale and delivery of $126 million in Killeen Independent School District unlimited tax school building bonds.
The board went over the numbers for the sale of the bonds in its May 28 meeting and unanimously approved the sale by a 6-0 vote Tuesday.
Trustee JoAnn Purser was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
Voters originally approved a total of $426 million in construction bonds in May 2018.
The bond money is being used to build several new schools — including a sixth high school — as well as extensively renovate Killeen High School.
The first $300 million in bonds were sold by the district in August of 2018.
The district is currently projected to come in $2 million under budget on the $426 million in construction once all projects are complete, according to Megan Bradley, KISD chief financial officer.
Twenty-two cents of the current $1.26 tax rate is for revenue to cover current and previous bond elections, she said.
The additional $1.04 is for general maintenance and operations for KISD, Bradley said. Bradley said she believes the original tax rate of 22 cents will end up being lower due to the current market.
The decision to split the bonds into two different sales was in order to meet the spending requirement of the bond, according to Bradley.
In other action Tuesday, the board moved to approve an agreement between KISD and Advent Health School.
Also, the annual renewal of the Killeen Regional Day School Program for the Deaf shared services arrangement agreement was discussed.
“The purpose of this agreement is to create a cooperative arrangement whereby the Member Districts may provide for the efficient delivery of legally required special education and related services to eligible students with hearing impairments in the Killeen area,” according to the KISD board agenda.
The board voted to approve both of these agreements with 6-0 votes.
The board also discussed an agreement with the city of Harker Heights and the city of Nolanville about improvements to Warriors Path.
The cities will share the costs of road, sidewalk and drainage improvements related to the opening of the new Nolan Middle School on Warriors Path in Harker Heights, scheduled for 2020.
The preliminary cost of the project is $3 million. The city of Harker Heights is asking for no more than $1.5 million from KISD. The $1.5 million would come from the strategic facilities plan, according to Superintendent Dr. John Craft.
The motion passed on a 6-0 vote.
The board also voted to approve the East Ward and West Ward Elementary School consolidation project for the guaranteed maximum price of $39,786,497. The construction budget for this project was $41.5 million. The money will be coming from the 2018 bond program that budgeted $48 million for total project costs.
Harker Heights resident Stan Golaboff, who ran for a board seat in May, asked the board during public forum not to approve the East Ward and West Ward consolidation because the lot is too small and presents a safety risk if the project is approved.
“Eight acres is not big enough to support 1,500 students and teachers,” Golaboff said.
Board member Brett Williams asked Craft if there were any doubts about safety with the location of the new school, and Craft said there were no worries. After a short discussion on the topic, the board passed the motion with a 6-0 vote.
Also Tuesday, the board revisited the expansion of the Sheridan Transportation Facility from the May 28 meeting.
Trustees approved commissioning Huckabee & Associates, Inc. for Architectural services, Command Commissioning as the Commissioning Agent and Langerman Foster Engineering Company, LLC as the Geotechnical and Materials Testing Engineer.
The range of costs of the expansion that were presented on May 28 range from $6.5 million to $15 million.
The costs include the fees for architecture and engineering, construction costs, contingencies, furniture, fixtures and equipment and city permitting fees. The project will be funded through the strategic facilities plan budget.
The board passed the motion with a 6-0 vote.
The board also unanimously voted to approve to use the construction manager at risk method to deliver the project. This method allows for greater cost transparency because all costs will be exposed to the district.
The greatest maximum price will have to be set for the project which will allow for potential savings on the budget if the greatest maximum price is less than budgeted for similar to the East Ward and West Ward consolidation project.
The last item the board discussed was the fiscal year 2020 budget.
All staff salaries will be approved in June and July and the final budget will be submitted to the board in August.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law Tuesday, according to Megan Bradley. The implementation of the bill will have an impact on pay raises for KISD employees.
The measure grants an estimated $25.7 million to KISD. Thirty percent of that number must be used on pay raises for KISD staff.
A total of 3,241 employees are teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses who will receive a pay raise as a result of HB 3. Bradley did not ask the board to take any action about pay raises.
Golaboff told the board he would like to see the board use at least 50% of the $25.7 million on pay raises for KISD staff.