City council hears AISD bond info

Aledo ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan K. Bohn, left, presented details to the Aledo city council Thursday night about the bond package that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Aledo ISD Superintendent Susan K. Bohn gave a presentation to the Aledo City Council on Thursday night over the $149,950,000 bond, which will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

“Our demographers have determined that we are expected to exceed maximum capacity at Aledo Middle School next year, and in just two years, we will exceed the maximum capacity at our five elementary schools all combined. Our student enrollment is projected to double within 10 years,” Bohn said. “In this package there’s a significant renovation of the middle school, a renovation of Vandagriff Elementary School to be an early childhood campus, a pretty significant renovation of the intermediate to be an elementary school, and those are the projects that are in the city of Aledo. This does involve increasing the district’s capacity by adding a second middle school, which is outside the city, and then adding a sixth elementary school to increase that capacity.”

Because of the passing of House Bill 3 in legislative session, school districts received more state funding and AISD was able to drop their tax rate 10 cents.

“This bond election will involve no school district tax rate increase and our overall district tax rate has actually decreased 10 cents from $1.59 to $1.49,” Bohn said. “That tax rate decrease happened about three weeks ago at our trustees meeting. Due to an increase in state funding, our school board was able to decrease the tax rate.”

The bond proposal was created by the Bearcat Growth Committee, which held meetings starting in January.

“We had 38 members from the community — a representative from each campus, staff representatives and then the rest were a diverse group of Aledo ISD residents,” Bohn said. “This Bearcat Growth Committee worked for seven months and they looked at demographics, financial data, toured our facilities and put together a bond package that they brought to the school board in August for approve for this November bond election.”

Bohn said the proposal does several things for AISD.

“It has no tax rate increase, it increases district middle school capacity by 44 percent, it increases the district’s elementary school maximum capacity by 35 percent, it modernizes and repairs all the campuses, it reutilizes facilities with remaining life and permits the district to plan for growth by purchasing land for future campuses,” Bohn said.

One thing Bohn asked the city council to help with was to get people to vote in the Nov. 5 election.

“In the last bond election in 2017 there were 18,000 registered voters in Aledo ISD and 3,500 voted in that election, so we are very interested in asking for your help to ask people to vote,” Bohn said. “It doesn’t matter how they vote, but we would really like a large percentage of the community to decide what happens here in our schools rather than a small percentage. We have a high level of expectation for ourselves — for our students and Aledo Mayor Kit Marshall said the city has enjoyed its partnership with AISD.

“We’ve worked alongside them on many collaborative efforts and we appreciate you being here tonight to share with the council the upcoming school bond election,” Marshall said. “We appreciate the work you’ve done in trying to educate the community on what the need is and we appreciate a great partnership, which is a win-win for everybody.”

Early voting is from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1 and can be done at the Aledo ISD Administration building, the Willow Park Municipal building and the Parker County Courthouse Annex, and for more information about the AISD bond visit aledoisd.org

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