Now that Greenville ISD’s proposed $169.4 million facility bond was defeated, the district will likely need to purchase portable buildings or explore other options to accommodate expected enrollment growth.
Voters shot down the bond proposition 1,402-1,073, or about 57% to 43%.
In a statement after Saturday’s election, GISD Supt. Sharon Boothe said, “We respect our voters' decision, and we will focus on our future plans to best serve our students with the aging facilities we have.
“We will need to purchase or lease portable buildings, and will consider making the necessary adjustments in relocating students and staff to other facilities as needed,” Boothe added. “We will study this closely and will share details when final plans are made.
“The board and I will discuss our options and share our thoughts for accommodating growth in the very near future.”
Boothe’s post-election statement was not the first time the use of portable buildings was discussed as an option in the event that the bond failed. At a town hall meeting on April 25, Boothe gave an estimate on the financial impact of using portables.
"The portables will start out at about $100,000 each, so that's not including electricity, running water, sidewalks and awnings," she said. "Also, if the bond doesn't pass, the portables will have to come out of our M&O (maintenance and operations) budget, and will impact teacher salaries."
Though not included on the list of bond projects recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, the campus that is the closest to capacity (according to demographics research firm Zonda Education) is Lamar Elementary School, which currently is at about 94% capacity and is projected to be at about 97% capacity in five years.
Another campus that is reaching capacity, but was on the list of projects for the proposed bond, is Greenville Middle School, which is currently at about 93% capacity. However, Zonda’s five-year projection for the middle school is actually lower at about 91% capacity.
Other campuses that are close to capacity are: Travis Elementary, at about 88% currently and projected to be about 93% in five years; L.P. Waters Early Childhood Center, at about 87% currently and projected to be about 96% in five years; and Bowie Elementary School, at about 85% currently and projected to be about 96% in five years.
The rejected bond issue had called for:
• Replacement of the 72-year-old Greenville Middle School with a new school able to accommodate 1,400 students. ($105.1 million).
• Replacement of 72-year-old L.P. Waters Early Childhood Center with a new Pre-K building that could accommodate 500 students ($31.1 million).
• Renovations of the 40-year-old high school’s interior to create additional learning space and to allow for more instructional options ($23.6 million).
• Construction of an agricultural science facility with instructional space and capacity for raising livestock ($6.5 million).
• Improvements to the district’s transportation services facility ($3.1 million).