Prosper, Texas – In a unanimous decision, the board of trustees of Prosper Independent School District (PISD) has given the green light for a bond election slated for November 7. This approval comes after meticulous deliberation by the district’s Long Range Planning Committee, which took into account demographic data, housing information, and an exhaustive facilities study to create the final bond package, split into four distinct propositions.
Prosper ISD bond – Proposition A to cost $2.4 billion
At the forefront of this multibillion-dollar proposal, which carries a hefty price tag of $2.8 billion, is Proposition A, accounting for a significant portion of the funds, $2.4 billion to be exact. Under this proposition, the district aims to cater to burgeoning student numbers by constructing six new elementary schools and an early childhood school, along with two middle schools and two high schools. In addition, an administration building and professional learning center are on the cards, as is an innovative outdoor learning experience facility.
This proposition doesn’t stop at merely expanding capacity, however. Eight campuses are slated for modernization, four for expansion, and the current administration building is earmarked for repurposing. Moreover, this proposition outlines plans to bolster safety and security, acquire new technology, purchase land for future middle and elementary school sites, and provide buses and vehicles for the district.
Prosper ISD bond – Proposition B to cost $140 million
Proposition B, with a budget of $140 million, will be focused on a technological overhaul across the district, equipping students, teachers, and staff alike with the latest devices. This digital transformation is an integral part of PISD’s commitment to nurturing a cutting-edge educational environment.
Prosper ISD bond – Proposition C to cost $102 million
Turning to the district’s sporting community, Proposition C, comprising a $102 million allocation, sets its sights on the construction of an expansive new 8,000-seat stadium and renovation of existing athletic facilities, including the refurbishment of turf and tracks.
Prosper ISD bond – Proposition D to cost $125 million
Lastly, Proposition D, backed by $125 million in funds, seeks to foster the arts by constructing a state-of-the-art performing arts center. This venue, designed to accommodate approximately 2,500 attendees, would serve as a hub for dance, theater, music, and visual arts students. Furthermore, it will be open to community groups for rental, ensuring its utility extends beyond the educational sphere.
This comprehensive bond package comes as a timely response to the rapid growth witnessed by the Prosper ISD, with the goal of ensuring the district continues to provide top-notch educational and extracurricular opportunities for its students and the wider community.
There is growing number of students in Prosper ISD every year
In an era marked by rapid growth and expansion, the Prosper Independent School District (PISD) is experiencing a steady increase in student enrollment. As of the 2023-24 school year, PISD’s student population has surged to 28,000, just over halfway to its projected growth target of 50,000 students, according to Superintendent Holly Ferguson.
“Growth is our greatest opportunity to improve every second of every day,” she said. “Every time we get a new student walking in the door … something magical is going to happen.”
Prosper ISD looks forward to grow the standards within the district
However, the district’s rapid growth has not been without its challenges. According to the presentation delivered at the meeting, PISD faces several significant hurdles, including limited infrastructure and available space, the need to adjust attendance boundaries, class sizes that have yet to reach their optimum numbers, and mounting stress on existing programs and teachers.
The district currently relies on 134 classrooms housed in 58 portable buildings to accommodate its growing student body, Ferguson disclosed. These portable classrooms alone serve nearly 5,000 students, underscoring the pressing need for additional permanent infrastructure to support the expanding district.
However, the issue of insufficient space extends beyond the classroom. Despite not being included in the planning committee’s initial recommendation for a $2.6 billion bond package, a new performing arts center has become a focal point of discussions. Ferguson emphasized that the district’s existing auditoriums at its high schools are no longer adequate to meet the demand for seating capacity and the sheer number of events that are being held.
When community groups have asked to rent the space, she said they are usually turned away since the space is already booked with district events.
“I see a lot of opportunities being able to connect with our municipalities and community partners,” Ferguson said.
The planning committee of the school district was tasked with devising a recommendation to steer the district’s building program over the forthcoming five to seven years, according to district officials. The objective was to create a blueprint for the construction and expansion of facilities that would meet the needs of the district’s burgeoning student population.
Presenting the financial details of the bond to the board, Doug Whitt, the Senior Managing Director of SAMCO Capital Markets, acknowledged the complexities of undertaking such an ambitious building program. “It can be quite daunting when a district is faced with the need to construct multiple schools simultaneously,” Whitt said. To mitigate this challenge, he noted that the district typically employs a rolling three-year bond model, which allows it to stagger the construction of facilities based on anticipated timelines.
Superintendent Ferguson announced that the multibillion-dollar bond would not result in an increase in the district’s tax rate. The school board is poised to formalize the tax rate for the 2023-24 fiscal year at its meeting scheduled for August 28.
The bond’s four propositions will appear on the ballot for PISD voters in the upcoming November 7 election. Addressing the implications of the bond, Ferguson expressed the critical importance of securing its approval.
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