Following the approval of the $149.9 million bond package by voters, the Aledo ISD officials highlighted the next steps in the process at Monday’s regular AISD board of trustees meeting.
“We didn’t want to be presumptive with passing the bond — we were thinking a lot about what would happen if it passed, but we really haven’t talked about it together as a board or publicly at all. We put a lot more meetings on the calendar now as a board and then, of course, we have the opportunity for community members to come, too,” AISD Superintendent Susan K. Bohn said. “Because the need was so great for these facilities, the timeline is quite rapid. We really want to do some things quickly, like we want to hire architects before we leave for Christmas, we’ve added a special called meeting. We’re adding meetings like that to give us a little more time in the competitive process in choosing these vendors.”
Bohn said a website specifically about the bond should be live by Friday and the district will also hold two community feedback meetings in the spring.
“We will have a bond progress website that we will update very regularly and we also plan to have a couple of community feedback sessions in the spring so that community members can give feedback to our architects and our design and construction teams on what they want in these new schools — probably one meeting on elementary and one on secondary.”
The approved bond package includes a second middle school, $62,501,000; Aledo Middle School renovation/expansion, $33,446,000; a sixth elementary school, $35,858,000; McAnally Intermediate renovation into an elementary school, $9,611,000; Vandagriff Elementary renovation into an early childhood campus, $1,709,000; furniture replacement at Coder, Stuard and McCall elementary schools, $1,800,000; future land for school sites, $4,525,000; and additional school buses, $500,000.
AISD’s Director of Construction and Facilities Tyler Boswell said they have already moved forward with the Request for Quotation process for architects.
“As of last Friday, we’ve put an ad out and posted it on the website and we’ll advertise again this week, so we have a pre-bid meeting on Dec. 3 and on Dec. 5 we have an addendum going out, bids are due on Dec. 9 and then we’ll be doing interviews on Dec. 11, 12 and 13,” Boswell said. “Then basically we’ll have a called meeting on Dec. 19 to make recommendations to the board.”
The AISD board will have its regular meeting on Dec. 16 followed by a special called meeting on Dec. 19 to make a decision on architects.
“We will choose those that give us the best value for the projects that we have,” Bohn said.
The AISD board also approved the Bond Progress Committee, which will be made up of 25 members from the former Bearcat Growth Committee.
“The BPC are people that were on the Bearcat Growth Committee, [which] of course is the committee that put together the proposal that went before voters and they approved,” Bohn said. “They looked at demographic data, financial data and facilities data for the district for about seven months. They really studied it deeply and have a good understanding about it.”
The BPC will meet quarterly and then report back to the board of trustees and Bohn said other updates on the bond will be presented at every board meeting.
The trustees also approved board members David Lear, Jessica Brown and Forrest Collins to be on the first round of the Bond Construction Subcommittee, which will review the status of projects, financial implications and bond expenditures and then report back to the full board for review and discussion.
The AISD board of trustees unanimously approved an order canvassing the election results. The official results showed 3,876 [61.75%] voted for the bond in Parker County and 2,401 [38.25%] voted against the bond in Parker County for a total of 6,277 votes. In Tarrant County, 171 [66.28%] voted for the AISD bond and 87 [33.72%] voted against the bond for a total of 258 votes.
“Thank you to all of you who voted, whether you voted yes or no that doesn’t matter, the numbers were way up in voting this year and that is what’s important, the No. 1 priority,” AISD Board President Hoyt Harris said. “Things will begin to move fast, but just like prior to the bond election, there will be a lot of communication and the process will be very transparent.”
For more information and to keep updated on the bond process, visit aledoisd.org.