The Aledo ISD board of trustees unanimously approved the $149,950,000 bond recommendation from the Bearcat Growth Committee and called for a Nov. 5 election at Monday’s regular meeting.
“There were quite some charges for community members that maybe don’t work in school district finances and day-to-day operations. This committee met a total of 10 times and each meeting wasn’t just one hour, it was several hours, and did a great job taking in the data to bring us this presentation,” AISD Board President Hoyt Harris said.
The 38-member Bearcat Growth Committee was created in December 2018 and started meeting in January to come up with the bond package.
“We have collectively invested over 1,000 hours in this package we’re recommending to you,” BGC Co-Chair Christi James said.
The approved bond package includes construction of a new middle school, $62,501,000; renovation and expansion of the current Aledo Middle School, $33,446,000; the construction of a sixth elementary school, $35,858,000; renovation of McAnally Intermediate School, $9,611,000; renovation of Vandagriff Elementary School into an early childhood campus, $1,709,000; furniture replacement at Coder, Stuard and McCall elementary schools, $1,800,000; the purchase of land for future school sites, $4,525,000; and the purchase of additional school buses, $500,000.
“Our motto from the very beginning as the BGC committee was this is not about my kids, it’s not about your kids, it’s about all of our kids in the school district,” BGC Co-Chair Jim Scott said. “Our priority was to address the learning needs of the student population first, with a focus on the most critical needs. This bond program addresses the need of the projected overcrowding at the middle school and elementary school levels. You the board, can be proud of what this BGC committee did and I think the community can be proud of what they did and how hard they worked.”
The bond does not require a tax rate increase.
“To me this process started way before January and after the 2017 bond failed, we just kind of stepped back and looked at ourselves,” AISD Board Secretary Forrest Collins said. “Addressing the growth felt overwhelming at times, so when [Superintendent] Dr. [Susan] Bohn came in, we all came together. Most districts do not do this, so it was just really a unique process where the community could buy in.”
AISD board member Jessica Brown said compared to the last bond, the BGC really considered the needs of all students in the district.
“I really appreciate you all digging deep into the details and really making sure that all needs were met — I’m just ecstatic that y’all are taking care of all needs,” Brown said. “I heard a complaint, which was valid, last time that not all of our kids were being considered, so thank you for considering all the kids.”
Early voting for the Nov. 5 election beings on Oct. 21 and ends on Nov. 1. Early voting locations will include the Aledo ISD administration building and the Willow Park municipal building. School officials will be providing information presentations throughout the community during the fall leading up to the election.
Bond presentations can be scheduled for organizations and/or neighborhoods by contacting AISD Director of Communications Rick Herrin at 817-441-8327 or email@example.com.
Additional details about the bond package can be found by visiting aledoisd.org/BGC.