The Katy (Texas) school board has placed a $609.2 million bond proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The district says that the funds would pay for a 239-project bond package developed by a community-led committee earlier this year.
Among the major projects are six new schools—one high, two junior high, and three elementary schools; repairs and replacements at 61 campuses and facilities for components such as kitchens, roofs, floors and intercoms; districtwide technology upgrades; expansions at two schools, and safety and security upgrades at 40 campuses. Students across the entire district will likewise benefit from technology network improvements.
The district says the bonds will not increase the property tax rate as the tax base continues to grow in the suburban Houston area. Katy has about five times as many students now as it did 30 years ago and has been adding about 2,800 students a year for the last five years. Enrollment in 2017 is about 77,000; with an additional 27,205 subdivision houses predicted in the next decade, the number of students in the Katy district is projected to rise to 98,000 in 2026.
The bond funds are needed to provide the additional school facilities and classroom capacity to accommodate students. In November 2014, district voters approved a $748 million bond package. Among the projects in that request was for a football stadium that opened earlier this month at a price tag of more than $70 million. It is believed to be the most expensive high school football stadium ever constructed.