The Northwest ISD Board of Trustees on Monday night voted to call a bond referendum that would build 12 new schools and additional facilities, making room for 8,400 new students.
The large, largely rural district is the fastest growing ISD in North Texas and will need this bond package, and more in the future, to keep up with a current and projected boom in enrollment. There are now more than 100 housing developments within the district’s 234 square miles, and the district has grown by more than 1,000 students per year for two decades.
The $2 billion bond package includes a fourth comprehensive high school, an eighth middle school, four new elementary schools, two replacement elementary schools, four early childhood centers and home stadiums at high schools, plus other upgrades and equipment, according to a news release from the district.
The bond proposal would change the tax rate by one-tenth of a penny, which would impact the average taxpayer by less than $5 per year on their annual tax bill, according to NISD. The referendum will be split into three propositions as required by law. Proposition A, at a price tag of $1.67 billion, includes new schools, expansions, facility upgrades and similar improvements. The $300 million Proposition B will include any stadium work for a facility that has 1,000 or more spectator seats. Proposition C, about $22 million, will include technology devices for teachers and students to continue the district’s current technology device standards. These propositions will be on the May 6 General Election ballots of residents within Northwest ISD’s borders.
If approved, the future high school will be located near the I-35W/Hwy 170 interchange in far north Fort Worth, and could open in 2026 or 2027; it would alleviate overcrowding at Eaton and Northwest high schools. The new middle school would open around the same time in Pecan Square, Northlake, and alleviate overcrowding at Pike Middle School. Among the new elementary schools is Perrin Elementary, located on Hwy 114, west of I-35W. Among the replacement schools is a replacement for Justin Elementary; the existing Justin campus, described as having outdated infrastructure and lower capacity than other district elementary schools, would then be used as one of the new early childhood centers.
By calling this bond referendum, the board approved the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee, which is composed of 57 community and staff members from across the district, formulated their proposal following five months of work where they analyzed current district facilities as well as enrollment and demographic trends.
“Working together, the committee had a lot of spirited conversations about what our district will look like in the coming years and how we do what’s best for kids,” said Joe Washam, a longtime Northwest ISD resident and member of the committee. “We’re all here because we believe in the students of Northwest ISD and want to continue to provide a top-tier educational environment for every child of our district.”
Dr. Mark Foust, Northwest ISD superintendent of schools, said the work of the committee steers the future of the district.
“I’m so proud of the work the Long-Range Planning Committee has done to provide our district with a vision for our future,” Foust said. “Since 1996, this committee has existed to analyze the growth and parity of our district throughout all 234 square miles. They have continuously provided a community perspective for what new facilities we should build to stay ahead of growth and put the interests of students first. I look forward to hearing our full community’s feedback on the proposals.”
Click here for more information about the bond proposal.