District Bond Advisory Committee recommends $251.7M bond package to school board

According to demographer Population and Survey Analysts (PASA), student enrollment at Lake Travis ISD has increased by approximately 76% since 2007.  Considering a moderate growth rate scenario, projections indicate a continued uptick of more than 60% during the next 10 years, resulting in a district-wide enrollment of nearly 16,000 students.  In order to accommodate expected growth, a citizens’ bond advisory committee was formed earlier this spring and recently proposed that the Lake Travis school board call for a bond election in November 2017.     

Presented by 2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self to district trustees during the regular board meeting on May 16, the $251.7 million package would include the following items:

  • Middle School #3
  • Elementary School #7
  • Upgrades, renovations, and repairs to existing facilities
  • School buses
  • Technology

Every two years, PASA provides district officials with a demographic update of Lake Travis ISD. The comprehensive report highlights housing projections, economic trends, ratios of students per household, student enrollment projections, and long range planning.   

“Last fall, we hired third-party firms to conduct a condition assessment of all district-owned facilities and property, as well as assessments of our technology, furniture, and food service assets,” said LTISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brad Lancaster.  “Using the demographic report and the findings from these assessments as our baseline, we formed a bond advisory committee to start the planning for a potential bond issue in the fall.”

2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self addresses the LTISD school board regarding a potential bond issue.

2017 Bond Advisory Committee chair Jeremy Self addresses the LTISD school board regarding a potential bond issue.

Comprised of 28 members representing each campus and the greater Lake Travis community, the committee met over the course of seven meetings between January and May.  Members received a list of district requests totaling approximately $392 million.  Upon separating those requests into three categories based on priority, the committee was tasked with the creation a bond issue that would keep the district’s tax rate at the current level and address the district’s highest needs.

“The exciting news is, the entire package can done without an increase to our current tax rate,” added Dr. Lancaster.  “That is a rare occurrence in school bond elections and highly significant position for the district and our taxpayers.  The zero impact to our current tax rate comes as a result of our district paying down our current debt early.  In fact, over the past five years, LTISD has saved its taxpayers more than $27 million in interest through aggressive debt management, resulting in increased capacity for future bond programs.”

The board is expected to vote on the potential bond issue during its next regular meeting on June 20.