$257 Million Bond Package Developed By 60-Member Citizens Committee After Five Months Of Extensive Study & Analysis
By a tally of 7-0, the Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees voted this evening to place a $257 million bond referendum on the upcoming November ballot. The election will be held November 3rd with early voting running from October 19th through October 30th.
The bond package was developed by a facilities committee comprised of parents, grandparents, teachers and business leaders from across the Rockwall ISD community. Directed by a professional facilitator, the 60-member committee reviewed financial data, current academic needs, projected student growth, modern technology and security upgrades, and toured existing campuses. After a little more than five months of extensive study, which started in January of this year, the facilities committee came to a consensus on the proposed bond package.
Broken down by facility, a detailed listing of the projects to be funded by the bond referendum is provided on the attached sheets.
“The Rockwall ISD bond package is designed to impact every student with new and renovated schools, basic maintenance and capital upgrades, technology and security updates, new buses and sports fields, and a College and Career Academy,” said Jeff Bailey, Rockwall ISD Superintendent.
The College & Career Academy will be a part of the STEM program for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The College & Career Academy will maintain between 800 to 1,000 students throughout the day providing both high schools with space for additional enrollment capacity on their existing campuses. The Academy will also be used by Texas A&M Commerce and Collin College for college course work for students and adults.
The Academy will offer pathways designed to provide students with an opportunity to explorer career options and professional certifications. A partial listing of the available career pathways at the Academy includes medical and nursing, culinary arts and restaurant management, computer maintenance and repair, video game design, engineering, audio and video production, graphic design, our legal system, architecture and marketing.
“Rockwall ISD strives to provide our students with a diverse array of educational and career opportunities,” added Linda Duran, RISD School Board President. “The College & Career Academy is designed to give a head start to our next generation of scientists, teachers, engineers, medical professionals and entrepreneurs.”
To minimize the tax impact, the Board of Trustees will use existing district funds to pay for technology initiatives. When combined with the likely passage of the constitutional amendment providing for a larger homestead exemption, the tax impact will be less than $10 per month on a $250,000 home, an increase that will be phased in over a 4 year period. Citizens 65 years of age and over will see no increase above their capped level.
Rockwall ISD has grown by 2,500 students since 2007, with future growth projected to remain just as robust. For each of the past 8 years, the RISD property tax rate has either stayed the same or been reduced, earning Rockwall ISD numerous awards for transparency and financial management. Rockwall ISD’s current tax rate is the lowest it’s been in the past 20 years.
The mission of Rockwall ISD, a diverse and unified community embracing endless learning possibilities, is to inspire and develop the unique abilities of our children to become passionate learners, extraordinary citizens and authentic leaders of the 21st century by cultivating an engaging learning environment based on high standards and expectations in a culture of kindness and compassion.
The Rockwall ISD administration is available to answer any questions about the bond referendum. To arrange an interview or schedule an informative presentation for local clubs or organizations, please contact Renae Murphy at 972-771-0605.