ARLINGTON, Texas (CBDSFW.COM) – The Arlington ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to place a $966 million bond package on the November 5 ballot.

The proposed new bond program would not require an increase in the debt service tax rate.

The district explained in a news release, the proposed 2019 bond would build on the District’s 2014 Bond program and address needs in four major areas:

1) facilities,
2) fine arts,
3) transportation,
4) and safety, security and technology.

“The projects included in the proposed bond program impact every school and are designed to affect all students, provide relevant learning spaces and ensure equity and access for all students,” AISD said in a news release.

“As a Board, we are excited about giving our voters the opportunity to address so many district needs that directly affect our students, and do it without raising the district’s tax rate,” said Kecia Mays, president, board of trustees for Arlington ISD.

“Building improvements are planned for all schools,” said Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Arlington ISD superintendent. “The majority of the proposed bond program is for renovations and rebuilding facilities to address significant condition needs. Carter Jr. High and Berry, Thornton and Webb elementary schools, four schools with an average age of 61 years, will be razed and rebuilt.”

Among other projects, the proposed bond program would fund the following prioritized needs:

• Renovations and furnishings for full-day Pre-K classrooms
• Junior high and high school fine arts/dual language academies
• New playgrounds and shade structures for all elementary schools
• An addition to the Dan Dipert Career + Technical Center to meet program demand and allow for program expansion
• Renovate one existing high school field to be the 3rd varsity competition field in the district
• Upgrades to athletics facilities and fine arts spaces
• New fine arts instruments and uniforms
• New school buses
• Safety and security upgrades

The district went on to explain how it got to this point regarding putting the bond issue on the ballot:

The Board’s decision was made following a comprehensive facilities assessment and an extensive study conducted by a 37-member Capital Needs Steering Committee comprised of parents, teachers, principals, community members, business representatives and college and university representatives.

The committee evaluated and prioritized the district’s identified capital needs, which included evaluation of instructional priorities, enrollment trends, building conditions, transportation, security, technology and more, through 2025.

Through a series of meetings, community dialogues and surveys, the committee reviewed and analyzed the district’s capital assessment and listened to the community’s priorities and questions.

In June, the committee reported its findings to the AISD Board of Trustees and recommended a bond program to fund the priorities.