Red Oak ISD Discusses Need For Bond To Address Growth
RED OAK – It has been 15 years since Red Oak ISD has passed a bond. And in that time Red Oak has experienced exponential growth. According to data, Red Oak has grown 77.31% from 1990-2021.
A Citizens Facility Planning Committee was recently formed to look into this year’s recommendation for a Bond Election. The Citizens Facility Planning Committee (CFPC) consisted of Red Oak ISD staff and community members with an eye toward Red Oak ISD current and long-term facility and capital project needs.
At a special called Red Oak ISD board meeting last week, it was noted the Committee represents diverse perspectives from the community. Overall, they spent 600 total hours working through district needs. Topics included: district goals, district finances, facility needs, district tour, cost breakdowns, how bonds and taxes work, ethics for a bond and the election.
Committee members spoke at the meeting with one saying, “If you don’t believe it [the need] take a tour of the district and it will open your eyes.”
Other mentioned subpar facilities, UIL issues with the sports areas, which could cause economic problems in the future. While another committee member spoke about the district ADA violations adding, “The district has done an amazing job with facility maintenance, we are at a point where they can’t keep putting maintenance in it.”
The total for all the projects the Planning Committee thought necessary for the ISD’s future growth came to $230,100,000.
It was also pointed out the overall tax rate has decreased over the past three years, currently at $1.3256.
Campuses At or Over Capacity
The Committee summation included that “Nearly all schools are close to full capacity or are already over capacity, students are spending too many educational hours in transit, Goodloe Stadium is in danger of being unusable, the transportation building and parking lots are inadequate and many other areas need attention too.”
Goodloe Stadium projection was $45 million for an new locker rooms, improved restrooms concessions and a new press box. Plans also include adding a lane to the existing track for UIL competitions. The project would also address visitor parking area lighting improved, ADA requirements met, upgraded visitor stands; entry ways, and elevator.
The Transportation building and parking lots will require $19 million for a new facility. At the moment flooding issues have been reported, thus the recommendation is for a new facility. The current facility is too small for the number of employees passing through each day, restrooms, training, gravel bus parking, a lack of necessary maintenance space, fleet washing, insufficient parts storage bay capacity and fuel storage.
It was also presented there is the need for elementary playgrounds to have ADA accessibility, the middle and high school students share the track at Goodloe. The high school needs more indoor practice space for multiple organizations, energy management upgrades and a current middle school safety and security program, these latter two items for a total of $3.8 million.
The high school is looking at $38 million for renovation and a CTE addition. Breakdown of those funds $25.5 million for CTE building , $13 for high school renovations.
Whereas the middle school needs $86.5 million for a new middle school campus, ROISD already has the land. The existing middle school needs security updates at $1.5 million.
Expanding Elementary Campuses To Address Enrollment & Projections
Another $28 million for elementary school additions to Wooden and Eastridge. Expansion would address growth needs in the district for the next 5-10 years of projected enrollment. Funds include adding eight new classrooms to each campus, plus a new kitchen and cafeteria for each campus at $14 million apiece.
High school athletic improvements needed are estimated at $9,300,000 million. Funds would be spent on a JV track/turf field, baseball/softball turf on existing fields and resurfaced tennis courts.
The current conditions of Red Oak ISD regarding fiscal responsibility includes paying down $7 million in past bonds, purchased land for future elementary and middle schools, upgrades to ROHS and Schupmann lighting, several HVAC upgrades, practice facilities, installing new field at Goodloe Stadium and a state of the art Agriculture Science Project Center (Ag Barn).
Previous Bond Elections in Red Oak ISD were in 2006 for $90 million, which was defeated; 2007 for $97 million, which passed; and in 2017 for $74 million, which was defeated. The most recent vote in 2017, the bond failed by 36 votes.
Staff noted “On average, a district of our size has a bond election every five to six years. Nearly all ROISD schools are close to full capacity or are already over capacity with current zoning.”
The potential tax rate total if the bond passes is $1.3666.
It was also noted if the Bond passed the first bonds, they would be issued in fall 2022 for 30 years. Subsequent bonds would be issued for 2023 and 2024.
Tonight, Red Oak ISD has a regularly scheduled board meeting with the bond propositions on the agenda.
Watch it LIVE at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnDxyMfAROI