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Leander ISD bond aims to modernize existing campuses, add new ones

With over 8,000 students expected to come to the district in the next 10 years, this bond will help manage all the growth.

AUSTIN, Texas — Residents within Leander ISD have the opportunity to vote for a $762 million bond, which is split into three propositions.

The three propositions that voters within the district can either approve or deny are broken down below.

Preposition A

Prop A is worth $698.33 million and, if approved, it will go towards school facilities. The proposition will create two new elementary schools and allow for the purchase of land for future school facilities and new school buses, as well as modernizing campuses. 

"We have a standard to do that modernization when buildings are 20 years old," said Bruce Gearing, Leander ISD's superintendent. "We have buildings that are 24, 25 and 26 years beyond when they opened that have not had their modernization project yet."

Modernization includes updating HVAC systems on campuses. Gearing said if their air conditioning systems go out, it could take a while to fix. 

Another large area that the proposition is hoping to alleviate is the uneven growth in the area.

"We have extremely fast growing up in the northern part of the district near Liberty Hill," Gearing said. "And then we're a declining in student population in the southern portion of the district. And so, we have facilities becoming available for use in the southern portion, but we don't have enough facilities for our students in the north."

While uneven growth doesn't hurt the district, it presents challenges when trying to house all these students. As the district continues to grow, there are not enough schools for them. The two elementary schools in the bond will be built in the northern part of the district to allow more schools for the influx of residents on the northern side of Leander. 

With 8,500 students expected to come in the next 10 years, adding more portable buildings while they build more schools will be necessary. Even if this bond gets approved, it won't help manage all the growth. 

"And so, even as we're adding new facilities, we still have to manage the growth with portable buildings. And that will continue over the future," Gearing said. 

Proposition B

The second proposition is Prop B, which is worth $50.82 million. This proposition is aimed at updating technology equipment and infrastructure, including the replacement of devices for students and staff, alongside computer network projects.

Proposition C

The third and final proposition included in the bond is Prop C, which totals $13.67 million for renovations to the Don Tew Performing Arts Center and South Performing Arts Center.

Right now, Gearing's concern is getting voters out to the polls because the bond is the only item on the ballot for Leander and Cedar Park voters.

"There's no reason for people to turn out unless they're engaged in this conversation," Gearing said. "So, we do urge our voters who are eligible to vote in this election to please go and vote."

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