4 Bond Issues on Ballot address growth in area

Crosby ISD, Huffman ISD, Crosby MUD, Goose Creek CISD seek voter approval

By David Taylor

For years, the Crosby and Huffman communities were the secret of quiet country living with cherished hometown values and the simple life.

Much of that has vanished with the widening of FM 2100 through Crosby and the onslaught of dozens of developers eager to develop open farmland. Both Crosby and Huffman are feeling the growing pains of new communities popping up across their districts and both seek bonds to help address the crowding their schools are beginning to see. That growth is also affecting entities such as the Crosby Municipal Utility District who also seek voter approval for their bond.

Goose Creek CISD is seeking a huge bond, most of it devoted to the replacement of an aging Sterling High School.

Here’s a quick view of each bond as voters prepare to go to the polls.


BOND AMOUNT: Proposition A requests $92 million

BOND PROPOSAL: The bond addresses a new Career and Technical Center ($33,560,000), districtwide replacements and upgrades ($22,804,062), student growth ($12,860,000), safety and security $10,172,475), new HISD Operations Center ($8,070,000), expand district-wide technology ($3,629,500), and add new buses ($738,000). Prop A also includes additional space in the Ag Pavilion for classroom lab activities, proper management of projects during Ag Show, and more capacity to increase student involvement. The CTE Center will increase space for nursing, floral design, audio/visual, culinary arts, and robotics classes currently capped because of a lack of space. Technology updates include access control, alarm monitoring, video surveillance, network fiber for security systems, intrusion detection, automated license plate readers, and social media monitoring.

The legislature just provided an additional $26 per student in funding for safety and security, but the district, based on security audits, requires $299 per student to meet new state mandates. The bond will cover items not funded by the state.

A new Academic and Operational Training Center will provide food service, maintenance, custodial, police department, and transportation needs. The additional training space will allow for professional development, curriculum planning, and operational education space.

District-wide technology needs such as replacing aging equipment and software, devics, apps, and the internet. It will also address infrastructure devices such as security cameras, door controllers, classroom phones, and teacher/student devices. The funds will also replace aging projectors, interactive displays, and document cameras. The bond funds will also be used to purchase six new buses with seat belts, air conditioning, and equipped with cameras as part of the replacement cycle.

TAX RATE: The previous tax rate was $1.14, but with the passage of the bond, the rate will decrease to $1.07, a unique opportunity for taxpayers. With the recent state compression savings and $100,000 homestead exemption, homeowners in Huffman ISD would still see an annual savings of minus-$762.68 or minus- $63.56 per month on a $200,000 home compared to 2022.

SENIORS: Ages 65 and older will see $0 tax impact over their current frozen dollar amount. For more information, visit https://www.huffmanisd.net/about-us/about-our-district/2023bond.


BOND AMOUNT: Proposition A requests $85 million

BOND PROPOSAL: Prop A requests $85 million to build a new elementary school, Phase 1 of Middle School #2, and district- wide maintenance and renovations.

The two new schools will help address the growth of 10,000 new homes yielding approximately 5,000 additional students by the school year 2033-2034.

The new middle school will only build out Phase 1 for a student capacity of 600 with the expansion to 1,200 possible for later. The design will include basic amenities like a gymnasium, administration, classrooms, library, athletics, cafeteria, food service, and some specialized CTE spaces. The project would begin in the 1st quarter of 2024 with a completion date in the 3rd quarter of 2026 and cost approximately $55.2 million and includes land acquisition.

The new elementary would have a capacity of 750 and construction would begin in the 1t quarter of 2024 with a completion date in the 2nd quarter of 2026. The project would cost $52.5 million and includes land acquisition.

Some of the districtwide maintenance and renovations include roof replacements or refurbishments, rest room renovations, and updates to heating and cooling systems, some of which are more than two decades old.

Additional funds from the remaining 2017 bond includes a $43.9 million high school addition already underway with both bonds accomplishing the district’s current needs.

TAX RATE: The new tax rate passed by the board on Oct. 16, 2023, is $1.2375. Of that amount, $0.7575 is for Maintenance & Operations and the Interest & Sinking is $0.48, not changed from the previous year. With compression applied, the tax rate reduction of $0.1854 decreases last year’s rate of $1.4229 to $1.2375.

SENIORS: Ages 65 and older will see $0 tax impact over their current frozen dollar amount. For more information, visit www.crosbyisd.org/BOND2023.

ENTITY: Crosby Municipal Utility District

BOND AMOUNT: $20,000,000

BOND PROPOSAL: This bond is proposed by the district to help with ongoing repairs and the installation of new water, sewer, and drainage facilities to serve district customers. This includes the addition of new taps for new developments coming onboard. The new updates also assist in keeping the district in compliance with current state law.

TAX RATE: This is a no tax rate increase bond for the district.

SENIORS: Ages 65 and older will see $0 tax impact over their current frozen dollar amount.

For more information, visit https://www.crosbymud.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/08/Crosby-MUD-Election-Flyer.pdf.

ENTITY: Goose Creek Consolidated School District

BOND AMOUNT: $386,310,000

BOND PROPOSAL: The bond has three separate proposals A, B, and C.

Proposition A has the largest price tag at $342,310,000, most of it devoted to the replacement of Sterling High School ($285,000,000) due to damaged structural foundation in the main building. It also replaces Winnie Brown Gym, the natatorium, and vocational building.

Safety and Security across the district would include upgrades to access controls at exterior doors, cameras, intrusion alarms, sensor at exterior doors, and intercom systems. It also includes expanding gunshot detection systems, add vape detection systems and silent panic alert technology. It also includes adding bullet-resistant film, replace police vehicles, telephone hardware across the district, security cameras in the district and upgrade campus fencing at a cost of $24,000,000.

Approximately $15 million will be used to upgrade and renovate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, make roof repairs and replacements, replace and repair building foundation systems and site deficiencies, and repair and replace interior finishes.

The transportation department would receive $6.2 million to replace 35 buses, provide equipment, specialized tooling, and technology refresh.

Lee High School would also receive $6.2 million for a relocation and redesign of the tennis courts, fencing to fully enclose the campus for safety, green space for extracurricular activities, and the closing of Carnegie Street and redesign of the east side of the property to include traffic lanes for students, parents, and buses.

The athletic department will use $5.4 million for upgrades in high school strength and conditioning, gym and field bleacher upgrades, high school and JS gym scoreboard upgrades, JS field scoreboard upgrades, HS baseball/softball batting cage renovations, track resurfacing at the high schools, high school and JS tennis court resurfacing, and women’s weight rooms facility upgrades at the high schools.

Lastly, $510k would be used for the demolition of San Jacinto Elementary.

Proposition B at $24 million would provide for renovations to Stallworth Stadium that include replacing existing ramps to meet ADA compliance, repair stadium structure, walls, and floors, replace existing press box, and the renovation of the concourse, including concession stands, fine arts locker rooms, and restrooms.

Proposition C would provide $20 million for network hardware refresh including network switches, distribution switches, and core networking equipment, refreshes at the elementary and junior schools for tablets, computers, and other devices.

TAX RATE: Yes, if the 2023 bond passes, the Interest and Sinking rate will increase 8 cents to $0.405, bringing the total overall tax rate with maintenance and operations included to $1.1625. For a home of $100,000, that would mean an additional $6.67 per month or $80.04 per year.

SENIORS: No. If a homeowner receives the Age-65 Freeze on his or her homestead, the school taxes are frozen and cannot be raised above the frozen level unless significant improvements beyond normal repairs or maintenance are made to the home. Examples of a “significant improvement” would be adding a garage, building a game room, or adding a swimming pool to your property.

In 2019, Texas Legislators passed a new law as part of HB 3 that requires all bond propositions for any school district to have the phrase “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE’ on all ballot language for bond propositions. Due to this requirement, all voters will see this statement on the official ballot language, even if the tax dollar amount is frozen and will not exceed the tax ceiling.