Dallas community college officials have placed a $1.1 billion bond proposal on the May ballot to address workforce needs, expand facilities and improve programs.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas County Community College District board has approved the bond election for May 4.
Officials want to use the funds to build a Dallas Education and Innovation Hub in downtown Dallas. The hub would include a business training center, which would mean redesigning the El Centro campus in downtown Dallas to accommodate it.
The bond funds also would enable the college system to provide equipment, talent and resources for industry-aligned education and training programs that meet the workforce needs in North Texas — specifically in the fields of allied health, culinary arts, construction trades, technology, business development, advanced manufacturing, corporate training and early childhood education.
The money also will enable the district to provide space to support a projected increase in enrollment of about 12,000 students by 2030.
The system projects that its enrollment in the next few years will rise to about 92,000 students from about 80,000, largely because of partnerships with area high schools. The district's partnership programs offer courses to young teens through dual-credit and 31 early-college high schools.
The bond would be only the third in the district's history. Voters last approved a bond package 15 years ago. That one totaled $450 million.
Officials say they can maintain the same tax rate because the bond program will be spread out over six years. Presumed increases to valuation on taxable property in the county will help cover the debt.