The Galveston Independent School District board of trustees on Wednesday will make a final decision on calling a $31 million bond election in May as the first part of a two-step plan to improve district facilities.
A $31 million bond, proposed for a May referendum, would pay for immediate repairs at district facilities caused by deferred maintenance, while a committee works to identify longer-term projects that could be funded through a future bond issue, Galveston Superintendent Kelli Moulton said.
The $31 million bond issue could be paid off over 12 years without a tax increase, Moulton said.
Trustees on Wednesday will hold a special meeting to either approve or reject the proposal, which was signed off on by a facilities advisory committee in January.
Staggered bond elections are necessary because district officials don’t have time to prepare a comprehensive examination of long-term needs before the Feb. 16 deadline to call a May vote, officials said. A second, and presumably larger, bond referendum could be held in November.
The proposal is similar to one trustees considered, and decided against, in July 2017.
Trustees and district administrators have discussed a bond election since learning the severity of problems caused by deferred maintenance at school buildings and that it would cost an estimated $65.1 million to correct them all.
Maintenance staff, in a previous presentation to trustees, said extensive work was needed on the roofs at Ball High School, Central Middle School, the Rosenberg Elementary School building, Scott Elementary School and the former Alamo Elementary School.
The cost of replacing those roofs is more than $1 million in many instances, records show.
District officials have also said that the second part of the two-part bond election could include more than just deferred maintenance projects as a means to set district facilities up for the future.
The $31 million bond issue would cover only temporary repairs to some buildings, Moulton said.
For instance, replacing the roof at Ball High School has been estimated to cost about $5.5 million, but the first bond package earmarks only $660,000 to repair, rather than replace, the roof, according to records provided to The Daily News.
If trustees approve a bond election, district officials said they will ask trustees to hire a group to conduct a full facilities and demographic study in preparation for the second bond election.
A May bond election would be the first since 2010, when voters shot down a $35 million referendum that would have included a sports complex to replace Kermit Courville Stadium.
The last successful district bond election was in 2003 for $69.45 million to renovate and modernize school facilities.