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Argyle ISD addresses growth

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With an explosion of rooftops on the horizon, the Argyle Independent School District (AISD) Board of Trustees voted unanimously on February 24 to call a $45 million bond election on May 10.

The bond measure will be Proposition 1 on the May ballot and will provide funds for new facilities, major renovations and upgrades at the high school campus and stadium, in addition to providing classroom technology upgrades and buses for transportation.

The largest portion of the bond funds– $30,150,000– will be used to build a new middle school campus for 750 sixth through eighth grade students at the northwest corner of Hwy 377 and FM 1171.

“Currently, our middle school/high school campus—grades seven through 12– has a building capacity of 800 students and we’ve been using 12 portable classrooms since 2008 for the currently enrolled 1,020 students,” said AISD Superintendent Telena Wright.

She said that each classroom can house 23 to 28 students, but enrollment capacity reflects more than seat totals and teacher-to-student ratios.

“The number of lockers for students and even time for changing classes is affected by the width of the hallway and the number of students passing,” said Wright. “We currently have three lunch periods—one for middle school and two for high school kids– with 300 to 330 students in each period. They use the cafeteria and an outside seating area, weather permitting, or sit in the hall space to eat.”  

The Argyle ISD bond proposal is based on recommendations from a Facilities Committee, a diverse group of citizens, parents, staff, and Board members from across the district.  The Facilities Committee worked together during the 2012-2013 school year to review district facilities, demographic data, district financial information and enrollment trends. 

AISD potential enrollment growth will double in eight-years as forecast in the January 2014 Templeton Demographics Report to the AISD School Board.

“AISD’s current functional capacity is 1,860 students without using portables, but we have 1,953 students enrolled with 12 portables in use,” said Wright. “In two years we expect that to grow to 2,247, by 2019 it’s 2,997 and by the 2021-22 academic year it’s 3,875.”

Housing developments underway within AISD boundaries include:

• Harvest – 2,550 homes total with 100 homes in 2014, 150 in 2015, 200 per year thereafter;
• Canyon Falls – 1,200 homes total with 50 homes in 2014, 100 in 2015, 125 in 2016;
• Country Lakes – 68 lots;
• The Oaks of Argyle – 107 lots with 50 lots under construction as of February;
• Montalcino Estates – 51 lots;
• Meadows At Hickory Creek – 107 lots.

“All of the new developments being built within the AISD boundaries will be like Tour 18,” said Wright. “It’s within the Town of Flower Mound, but their school taxes go to AISD, not to Lewisville ISD. That will be how Canyon Falls and the other new housing developments under construction will be, even if they are not in Argyle town limits.”

If Argyle ISD voters approve the bond election, the tax impact to property taxpayers would be no more than $10.42 a month per $100,000 of taxable home value.  The tax rate for taxpayers age 65 and over will not be affected by this election, because their taxes are frozen– unless improvements are made on property.

“People need to know that if the bond [election] passes, the grade configuration will change in 2016,”said Wright. “There will be four campuses: Hilltop Elementary will be for Pre-Kindergarten through third grade; the Intermediate school will be for fourth and fifth grades; the new middle school will have sixth through eighth grades; and the high school will be for ninth through 12th grade.”

Previous Bond Elections in 2002 and 2007 both passed.

The 2002 Bond funded the new Elementary School for 750 students, a Performing Arts Education addition, and a multi-purpose Sport Facility, among other improvements.

The 2007 Bond was used for land acquisition and design for future campus needs, technology and transportation needs, and seating, concession, restrooms and field turf at the Stadium.

For more details on the proposed bond proposals, visit www.argyleisd.com and select: Argyle ISD Bond Presentation under “The Latest” to view specifics and view conceptual drawings.

Two bond community meetings will be held on April 16 and April 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school lecture hall.

Early voting is April 28 to May 3 at Argyle Town Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Additional early voting sites include: May 1 at Argyle High School’s Main Entry Foyer from 6 to 9 p.m.; May 3 to May 6 at Argyle High School’s Foyer at the Cafeteria Entry from 8 to 11:00 a.m.; May 5 to May 6 at Argyle Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and May 6 at Hilltop Elementary School’s Foyer at the Cafeteria Entry from 5 to 8 p.m.

Election Day voting is May 10 at Argyle Town Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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