(Seguin) -- The Seguin ISD may soon bring a nearly $65 million bond issue to voters. The Seguin ISD Facilities Committee presented its proposal to the Seguin ISD Board of Trustees during a special school board meeting on Tuesday night.
The proposal, which was put together as part of a lengthy process taken on by the committee, calls for a $64.7 million bond election. Projects included on that list are a rebuild of Matador Stadium at Seguin High School, renovation of Jefferson Avenue Elementary and a campus wide renovation of A.J. Briesemeister Middle School.
Sean Hoffmann, Seguin ISD executive director of communications, says this was the first time that the school board was presented with this proposed dollar amount and recommended list of projects.
"This would include a $35 million Briesemeister Middle School renovation on the current campus site, a $17.3 million stadium rebuild at the current Matador Stadium site, a $3.9 million for Jefferson Elementary School renovations, $1.8 million in outdoor American Disability Act (ADA) accessible playscapes, play areas and shade canopies for all seven Seguin ISD elementary schools, up to $1 million to purchase land to replace McQueeney Elementary School or a campus to replace McQueeney and an estimated $1.7 million for various campus improvements including heating, AC, plumbing, drainage and some furniture needs. So again, those are approximate numbers. Those are numbers that are being discussed. They were shared with our trustees for the very first time so that they can get a feel of what this committee is considering and recommending," said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann says the items included on this list are considered as needs as part of the committee's top priority level. District officials say this initial round of proposed improvements not only completes some projects, but it is designed to also lay the groundwork for other projects that have also been determined necessary for the future, including the eventual construction of a new McQueeney Elementary School.
Hoffmann says the committee is recommending that the district host a bond election in May. Hoffmann says again, this committee recommendation wasn't decided overnight, and he says there was plenty of work that took place behind the scenes.
"Starting back in February of 2018, the district solicited individuals from the community to serve on a facilities committee for the district -- basically to see and evaluate and ultimately make a recommendation on where the district should go in the short term as well as long term to meet the needs of our campuses. Dr. Gutierrez came in about two years ago and one of the items that the school board tasked him to look into was number one, academics and number two, the district's facilities and I think if anybody goes around and looks at the facilities, they'll realize that there's age to many of them. There are various needs and you'll look at some inequalities as far as actual facilities go. Look at Barnes and Breezy for example. The dichotomy between those two campuses yet they are both tasked to serve students to the same degree," said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann says any potential plan for a bond issue also comes with a look at the financial implications that it would have on taxpayers should voters say "yes." Hoffmann says in addition to saying what they think the district needs, the committee also carefully considered what the community could not only agree to, but also afford.
"The bond capacity analysis tells us that as of December 2018, this $64.7 million that we discussed tonight would result in a five cent tax rate increase based upon a $100 valuation of a home. So to put that into better perspective, a $100,000 valued home in Seguin would pay approximately $50 a year in additional taxes to fund that bond. Take that a step further, a $150,000, you'll be looking at $75 based upon that nickel tax increase. In a home with a valuation of $200,000 -- with that nickel increase -- we'd be looking at $100 per year increase on their taxes," said Hoffmann.
In finalizing its proposal for the school district, officials say the committee over the last several months successfully met to discuss every campus, even those that are vacant. Hoffmann says should the district decide on a May 4 election, then things would have to move very quickly. According to the necessary requirements, the school board would have to approve a resolution ordering the bond election by Feb. 15.
Due to this fast approaching deadline, trustees say they do plan to meet again before any official action is taken to further discuss this potential plan for the district's future.