New and refreshed classrooms are coming to the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and Hurst-Euless-Bedford school districts after voters approved hundreds of millions of dollars in bond projects.
However, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD voters rejected a pair of athletics-related proposals.
Voters in both districts on Nov. 7 approved two separate sets of bond packages, according to unofficial election results. HEB ISD voters approved a two-part, nearly $1 billion proposal to upgrade the district’s aging schools. Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD voters OK’d two propositions totaling $561.1 million and said no to two proposals worth $98 million.
With all votes counted, both of HEB ISD’s bond propositions each had more than 57% of voters saying yes. Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD’s Prop A and B had more than 51% of voters approving, while Prop C and D were rejected by almost 60%.
“We thank those in our community who took the time to go vote and we are thankful for your support with managing current and future enrollment growth,” Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD Superintendent Jim Chadwell said. “While our hope was to see all the projects recommended by the Long-Range Facility Planning Committee approved, we respect the community’s decisions made in this election and will begin planning for projects in Propositions A and B.”
HEB ISD voters approved two separate propositions. Prop A will cost $979.3 million, and it’s intended for new facilities, including new high schools and elementary schools.
Prop B, totaling $18 million, is directed toward updating technology. Now, every student will be fitted with either an iPad or a Google Chromebook, according to HEB ISD.
“This is an exciting day for the students and staff of HEB ISD and I want to thank our community for their continued support,” Superintendent Joe Harrington said. “Our residents have a long history of investing in students and schools — ensuring that HEB ISD remains a premier district and can serve our students in a way that is both special and unique to the DFW area.”
The school district’s tax rate will increase 5 cents to 97.41 cents per $100 of property valuation. The rate will see incremental increases through the next four years, starting in 2024.
This is the first time HEB ISD has put a bond up for election since 2018, when a $199 million bond passed that focused on the refurbishment of the district’s junior high campuses.
This time, L.D. Bell High School and Trinity High School will be completely replaced. Another four elementary schools will be replaced by fall 2027.
The two high schools will be the more comprehensive projects, according to HEB ISD. At Trinity High School, 11 different buildings must be torn down and rebuilt.
“It’s a size issue. It’s an infrastructure issue,” said the district’s chief public relations and marketing officer, Deanne Hullender.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD proposed a four-part, $659.1 million bond to manage an influx of 4,765 new students over the next seven years. The district covers 73 square miles in northwest Tarrant County and includes Saginaw, Blue Mound and portions of Fort Worth.
The bond package was Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD’s second in a year. In 2022, voters overwhelmingly denied a $275 million package.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD voters approved the bulk of the district’s proposal.
Prop A is $540.9 million and will fund the construction of four new campuses, improvements at other schools, an agricultural sciences building and better security.
They also approved Prop B, which will fund the purchase of devices and other technology. At $20.2 million, it is the smallest of the four proposals.
Prop C called for $47 million to improve Saginaw High School’s athletics building, and Prop D called for a $51 million swimming facility. Voters rejected both.
Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD officials do not expect the bond to affect property taxes by much. The district’s chief financial officer expects the school board will increase the debt service by one-tenth of a cent for the 2024-25 school year.
The average homeowner would pay less than $3 a year to support the bond, officials previously said.
“It doesn’t put any significant burden on our taxpayers. We owe it to our children to take this bond forward,” Brent Ranabargar, an Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD parent, previously said.
Both districts expect to start work on the newly approved projects in 2024.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 8, 2023, with all vote centers reporting unofficial results and statements from the superintendents of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and HEB school districts.
Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at email@example.com.
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