1. What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.
2. How can bond funds be used?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance.
3. What is a bond election?
School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors to raise the capital dollars required for projects such as renovation to existing buildings or building a new school. Essentially, the voters are giving permission for the district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.
4. Exactly how much is the bond package?
The Board of Trustees called a bond election in the amount of $195.4 million and voters approved it by 75.32% on May 4, 2019.
5. What exactly is included in the bond? The May 2019 Bond will replace aging campuses, grow and expand Channelview High School with CTE and other offerings, provide campus infrastructure renovations, upgrade safety and security and technology district wide, and purchase new buses and land. For a full list, visit 2019 Bond Overview.
6. How was the bond package developed? The proposals came from a recommendation developed by the Citizens’ Bond Planning Committee made up solely of Channelview ISD taxpayers, including parents, staff and other community members. The Committee met over the course of several months, in meetings that were open to the public, to evaluate the needs of the district and develop a long-range plan.
7. What safety precautions are taken during the construction process? The district and its construction managers will work closely with school principals on phasing of construction to ensure the safety of our students and staff and as little disruption to the campus as possible, as well as arrange for mobility throughout the campus. All construction will be secured from students and daily school activity, and all on-site workers are required to undergo criminal background checks. Construction updates and site plans will be shared with school staff and parents throughout the construction process so that everyone knows what to expect and how to safely navigate the campus.
8. What happens now that the bond is approved? When will construction take place? Since voters approved the bond on May 4, the project planning and design process began immediately. The design phase is collaborative and involves input from staff and other stakeholders. Once a project’s design is complete and construction documents are produced, the project is competitively bid to ensure the best value to the district. The projects will be phased in over time to ensure effective project management and achieve cost efficiency during the construction process. The district carefully plans and analyzes a number of factors in order to prioritize and plan the execution schedule of the voter-approved projects, including campus and program schedules, student enrollment, housing projections, TAVs (tax assessed valuations), interest rates, and construction prices.