New schools to be built and numerous renovations to happen with passage of the Katy ISD bond
KATY MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2017
By Angie Waller
On November 7, voters in Katy ISD will consider a $609,204,553 bond package, with a0% School tax increase. The Katy ISD area is rapidly growing. More and more families are moving to Katy for the outstanding education that Katy ISD has become known for.
"Katy ISD is a destination district. Hundreds of families choose our school district and community annually...increasing our district by an average of 2800 students every school year, says Ashley Vann, Katy ISD Board of Trustee's President. "We owe it to the families that chose Katy ISD that their children are educated in a safe and secure environment. Overcrowding tends to comprise both." Katy ISD is the second fastest growing school district in the state of Texas. As of 2017, Katy ISD has 77,627 and is projected to have 98,000 students by 2026. This bond includes $448,677,921 for 6 new schools. 1 new High School, 2 new Jr. Highs and 3 Elementary schools.
Below is what the bond will cover:
High school #9 - Cross Creek Area
High school #9 will be built in Cross Creek Ranch and will help relieve Tompkins High School and Seven Lakes High School. Katy ISD campuses have a functional capacity of 2700 students. By the year 2020 OTHS is projected to have 4,130 students and SLHS is projected to have 3,643. Without High School #9 all 8 high schools would be near or exceed functional capacity and a district wide rezoning would need to take place to balance out the enrollment at all Katy ISD High Schools.
Junior High #16 - Cross Creek Area
Junior High #16 will help relieve Tays Jr High, Woodcreek Jr High and Seven Lakes Jr High and will be located in Cross Creek Ranch. Most Katy ISD Jr. Highs have a functional capacity of 1400 students. By the year 2020 SLJH is projected to have 2189 students, Tays is projected to have 1766 students and WCJH is projected to have 2046 students. With SLJH projected to be 600 students overcapacity the students are greatly affected by early lunch times and not able to enjoy the electives they would like to. Many students are forced to take their 3rd choice of electives. If a new Jr High is built these students would all be allowed to take their 1st choice of electives and have normal lunch times.
Junior High #17 - Clay Rd. and Katy Hockley Rd.
Junior High #17 will help relive Katy Jr. High and Stockdick Jr High and will be located on Clay Rd at Katy Hockley Rd. Katy Jr High has a smaller capacity than most Katy Jr Highs with a capacity of 1231. By 2020 KJH is projected to have an enrollment of 1532 and Stockdick is projected to have 1428.
Elementary #41 - Cross Creek Ranch Area
Elementary #41 will be built in Cross Creek Ranch and relieve Jenks and Randolf. Elementaries #42 located in the Morton Creek Ranch Vicinity and #43 located at Clay Rd @ Katy Hockley Rd will relieve Bethke Elementary. Katy ISD elementary schools functioning capacity is 1,030. By 2019 Jenks is projected to be at 1425, Randolf is projected to be 1612, and Bethke is projected to be at 1,725.
"As our district continues to grow, the need for new schools, more classroom space is not a want, but a need. 91% of the proposed 2017 bond funds schools directly...with 6 new schools and comprehensive renovations and retrofits to 61 of our 64 campuses," states Vann.
Renovations and other needs
The additional bond money will go towards $20,854,960 for a comprehensive renovation of Fielder Elementary. The breakdown is $51,983,894 for Kitchen renovations, Career & Technical Education (CTE) support space, foundation repairs, chillers, HVAC controls, roof replacements, flooring replacements, lighting retrofits, athletic surface replacements, competition gym components, natatorium components for 61 campuses & facilities.
$15,414,210 for additional classrooms at Raines High School and Katy High School CTE area renovation. $16,710,436 for access control hardware upgrades, security camera retrofit, elevator refurbishments, fencing updates, renovations to fire alarms & sprinkler systems at 40 campuses & facilities $31,692,694 technology refresh and upgrades for 27 campuses & facilities, and district network infrastructure upgrade for all campuses. And $23,870,438 for busses, portables, and fuel storage tank replacements.
"After Harvey, the need is as great as ever," explains Vann. "The district was first to respond to our community and has covered every need that our schools needed post floods. This has cost us from our fund balance. There are items covered by the 2017 Bond that will have to be addressed whether the bond passes or not...chillers, carpet, roofs, flooring, technology upgrades, and more."
Numerous community endorsements
Like many other media venues, Katy Magazine is endorsing the 2017 bond. "We feel strongly that the passage of the bond is necessary to providing a quality education for Katy Area school children," says Katrina Katsarelis, Editor-in-Chief. "Most of us moved here so our children would have the benefit of these good schools and passing the bond is vital to maintaining a quality school district and a desirable, sought-after community.
Photo is a rendering from a prior elementary school build and is not a rendering of the schools mentioned in this story