KISD Superintendent John Craft is proposing the district consider another school bond issue to build three elementary schools and on-campus stadiums and said he will be putting together another bond steering committee to study options.

The bond package, if approved by the school board, would go before district voters in May, Craft said at a news conference Thursday.

A measure proposing $426 million in school bond money funded by taxpayers was approved by voters in May 2018.

Both aspects of the potential bond package would have an impact on Harker Heights, if approved.

One of the arguments for building three elmentary schools is to eliminate the need for portable classrooms on school campuses.

Harker Heights Elementary School, at 726 S. Ann Blvd., is one of two schools Craft said the district would be targeting because of their high number of portable classrooms. The other is Peebles Elementary in Killeen.

Craft talked Tuesday about asking the community for input on building the three new elementary schools so the district could eliminate all portable classrooms in the district.

The elementary school projects, if approved by the community, would not begin until current projects are complete, according to Craft.

Even with the three new schools, Craft said, the tax rate could be lower than the rate initially projected for the May 2018 bond.

The other area of the potential bond proposal that could impact Harker Heights would be the construction of an improved on-campus stadium at Harker Heights High School, at a cost of between $14 million and $15 million.

Under an option favored by Craft, similar stadiums would also be built at Shoemaker and Ellson high schools, as well as at the new high school being built on Chaparral Road.

The alternative would be to build a second large stadium, along the lines of Leo Buckley Stadium, at a cost of about $45 million.

“My recommendation will be to build the individual stadiums … I think from a utilization standpoint they will be utilized tenfold if they’re on their existing campuses,” Craft said Tuesday.

Craft said the stadiums at the individual campuses would be used for soccer, football and track and field and they would be used more than a second Leo Buckley Stadium would be.

The bond steering committee could look similar to the one that came together in late 2017.

Craft said he will send out invitations to those who were members of the previous bond steering committee, who made recommendations for the contents of the two bond proposals that totaled $426 million. The board of trustees members can provide recommendations or nominations for the steering committee.

The committee would total around 100 to 150 community members.

Craft is targeting the first week of November for the initial meeting of the bond steering committee.

No dollar amount was mentioned, either at Tuesday’s meeting or at Thursday’s news conference, for what the bond package could total.

254-501-7464 | hking@kdhnews.com

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