Thursday, May 19, 2022

Argyle ISD calls $268M bond election

This week, the Argyle ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to call a bond election this May for funding for several new schools and more as the district plans for more growth.

Trustees approved the community-led Bond & Growth Planning Committee’s recommendation of a $267,885,000 bond proposal, which will be presented to voters in three separate propositions on the ballot, according to a district news release. If approved, the bond election would include an increase of 1.5 cents to the district’s interest and sinking tax rate.

The BGPC’s recommendation focuses on the district’s student enrollment projections, which include significant enrollment growth at the elementary and middle school levels. The bond package includes funding for two new elementary schools, a new middle school, future land, buses, technology infrastructure and design fees for a future middle school in Proposition A.

Argyle ISD’s student enrollment is expected to exceed 7,000 by 2026-2027 and the capacity of the three new campuses would provide an additional 3,100 seats for elementary and middle school students.

The proposed Elementary #4 includes capacity for 850 students and the estimated opening would be August 2024. Elementary #5 would have the same capacity and its estimated opening would be August 2026. Both elementary campuses would serve pre-kindergarten through 5th grade. The proposed new middle school would serve grades 6-8 with capacity for growth, up to 1,400 students.

The committee also focused on the district’s extracurricular needs in association with the growth. The proposal includes two separate extracurricular propositions. Proposition B includes a new 9,000-seat football stadium at Argyle High School in Canyon Falls. Proposition C includes a new indoor activity center at Argyle High School in Canyon Falls. Per state law, the stadium and indoor activity center must be presented to voters in separate propositions.

The BGPC, which was led by co-chairs Leslee Shannon and Rich McDowell, was comprised of 24 members that included parents, Argyle ISD staff, business owners and community members. The committee held seven meetings starting in October 2021 and closely evaluated the district’s student enrollment growth, finances, facilities and bonding capacity. The committee also studied feedback from a growth and planning survey that included more than 2,700 responses from the community.

The committee also had discussions about the projected growth at the high school level and possible options for Argyle High School in the future. Feedback on the future of the high school was also included in the community survey. Ultimately, the committee decided that the Hwy 377 campus (current middle school) should be used to serve high school students again in the future. However, the committee did not make any recommendation with regards to grade-level configuration, the ideal enrollment at both campuses, or whether to create a second 9-12 high school for Argyle ISD. Therefore, a long-term plan for the high school is not included in this May 2022 bond package. Using both the AHS campus in Canyon Falls and the Hwy 377 campus, Argyle ISD has the capacity to serve 9-12 grade students through the 2027-2028 school year, based on the demographer’s projections.

Early voting for the May 7 election begins April 25 and ends May 3. The last day to register to vote — or to update your name or address — is April 7.

School officials will be providing informational presentations throughout the community during the spring leading to the May 7 election. Argyle ISD bond information can be found on the district’s website, along with information regarding the BGPC process.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a bond presentation for your organization or neighborhood, contact Rick Herrin, Argyle ISD Director of Communications, at 940-464-7241 or email at [email protected]

A complete list of proposed projects, with estimated costs and completion dates is as follows:

ARGYLE ISD BOND PROPOSAL- $267,885,000

Proposition A – New Schools, Infrastructure, Safety Updates & Buses

  • Elementary School #4 – $39,433,000 (2024)
  • Elementary School #5 – $44,512,000 (2026)
  • New Middle School #1 – $103,515,000 (2025)
  • Funding for Future Land – $20,000,000
  • Design Fees for Middle School #2 – $4,975,000
  • Buses – $4,500,000
  • Furniture Refresh (Hilltop & Argyle Middle School) – $2,000,000
  • Safety & Security Updates – $1,000,000
  • Hilltop Elementary playground improvements – $500,000
  • Acoustic Sound Shell at AHS auditorium – $350,000
  • Technology Infrastructure – $300,000

Proposition B – Stadium
Stadium at Argyle High School in Canyon Falls – $26,915,000 (2024)

Proposition C – Indoor Activity Center
Indoor Activity Center at Argyle High School in Canyon Falls – $19,885,000 (2025)

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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