By Mary Alys Cherry
Clear Creek ISD trustees voted unanimously at their Feb. 25 meeting to put a $367 million bond issue for updates and repairs to local schools on the May 11 ballot.
Earlier, CCISD’s Facility Advisory Committee had pared down the bond from $387 million, cutting down the size of its proposed stadium and downsizing its technology and priority maintenance proposals.
“I feel comfortable that all my concerns were taken care of,” Trustee Dee Scott said of the long process. “It’s (the bond) is the right thing to do for our students, our schools and our communities.”
Among the committee’s recommendations are a complete rebuild of two aging schools, Clear Lake High and McWhirter Elementary, construction of a second district stadium and a major technology upgrade to increase wireless access to accommodate all the electronic learning devices currently being used or needed in the future.
Major renovations and additions at Clear Brook High, Clear Creek High, Creekside Intermediate, Green Elementary, Seabrook Intermediate and Clear Lake Intermediate also were recommended by the 32-member committee, which held several town halls to get the public’s input.
The panel then presented its modified recommendations to the trustees at their Feb. 11 workshop.
A $367 million bond would push the tax rate to $1.4725 per $100 valuation and would mean $192 per year in additional taxes for the owner of a $177,000 home — after deductions for the $15,000 state homestead exemption and the 5 percent local exemption.
But the tax increase “comes in gradually over three years and then starts receding,” Trustee Charles Pond pointed out, adding that he felt the time is right for the bond. “Parents are concerned about the education of their children. This is reasonable and needed.”
Bond projects include:
Clear Lake High, $98.6 million — complete rebuild.
McWhirter Elementary, $30.8 million — complete rebuild.
Seabrook Intermediate, $7.2 million — add 10 classrooms, new stage, plus addition to library, repairs, etc.
Clear Creek High, $26.4 million –renovation of Carlisle gym, Spring Sports Building, kitchen and snack bar areas, correct foundation problems and addition of third gym. This will complete the rebuild of Clear Creek High, where a section of the 1956 building remains untouched.
Clear Lake Intermediate, $1.1 million – Renovate locker rooms, labs and refurbish elevator.
Clear Brook High, $9.7 million – Two-story additions for classroom, administration and library expansion; new entry lobby, cafeteria expansion, kitchen and auditorium renovation, second courtyard, new dressing rooms, addition to coaches office, etc. The school suffered significant foundation failure which caused the building to separate near the main entrance.
Creekside Intermediate, $2.5 million – Add new classrooms and science facilities. Will save having to build another intermediate school to keep up with area’s growth.
Greene Elementary, $3.2 million – Add 6 classrooms, restrooms and music room; enlarge cafeteria, renovate clinic, and extend parent dropoff and pickup, and add staff parking.
Clear Spring High, $3.9 million – Add 3rd gym and additional facilities to accommodate growth.
2nd District Stadium, $39 million – Construct 10,000-seat steel stadium next to Central Support Facility on W. Bay Area Boulevard. Scheduling said difficult with five high schools and one stadium.
Transportation Center, $1.2 million – Add 18,000-gallon propane storage tank and fueling dispensers, canopy and emergency generator.
Veterans Stadium, $1.9 million – Replace lighting and existing field turf, add guardrails and ticket booth, repair bleachers, etc.
Eastside Ag Center, $3.5 million – New Ag Barn to support Creek and Falls.
Westside Ag Center, $2.8 million – Add pens and storage for Brook, Springs and Lake. New practice and exhibit area.
Technology, $45 million – To ensure CCISD students have access to 21st century tools by improving the wireless structure and providing tablets for all students 4th grade and up phased in over 4 years so students can access curriculum 24 hours a day. All books would be electronic. Implement WiFi in all schools to support the tablet concept.