Bond Package Proposal Submitted to Katy ISD Board of Trustees

By George Slaughter

Katy Independent School District trustees heard a presentation for a $609 million bond package and a work study meeting held Monday night.

Keith Carmichael, chairman of the Katy ISD Community Bond Advisory Committee, and Christopher Smith, the district’s chief financial officer, gave the presentation. They said the bond would not require a tax increase.

Carmichael said that approximately $449 million, or 74%, is for six new schools. Of these proposed new schools, one is a high school, to our junior high schools, and the remainder are elementary schools. Other items covered, with approximate costs, include:

  • Component Replacements $52 million (9%).
  • Comprehensive Renovation: $21 million (3%).
  • Safety & Security Improvements $17 million (3%).
  • School Expansions $15 million (3%).
  • Technology $32 million (5%).
  • Other (buses, portables and fuel tanks) $24 million (4%).

Trustees have until August to amend or approve the proposal. If approved, the bond will be put to voters in the November 7 election.

The committee’s recommendation, made in June, followed seven meetings which began in April. At these meetings, members were briefed on various district and education-related topics.

Trustees in January approved a committee charter and encouraged applications. The 150-member committee is comprised of a broad base of community members representative of Katy ISD campuses, partner institutions, professional and civic organizations and the community at large.

Some members had served on previous bond committees, but Carmichael said that the majority of members were serving for the first time.

During the question period, Carmichael was asked about a proposal that called for removing the proposed high school from the bond package and just changing the high school attendance zones to ease overcrowding. This proposal was sent by e-mail to board members before Monday’s meeting. Carmichael said committee members discussed the idea was discussed but the high school would eventually have to be built to meet the growing number of students.

“They thought it was the better option” to proceed with approving and building the new high school, Carmichael said.

The slides from Carmichael’s presentation are on the Katy ISD web site.

While the bond proposal presentation was the key item at Monday’s meeting, the board heard three other presentations. One was on the district’s strategic design outcomes and priorities from Karen Permitti of Engage2Learn. Another was a 2017 health care update from Lance Nauman, the district’s director of risk management.

Slides from both Permitti’s and Nauman’s presentations are expected to be posted to the district web site.

The board also heard a brief report from trustee George Scott, who serves as Region 4, Position E director with the Texas Association of school boards.

The board considered the following items for final review and approval at its upcoming July 24 meeting:

  • A memorandum of understanding for operation of a juvenile justice alternative education program with Harris County.
  • A memorandum of understanding for operation of a juvenile justice alternative education program with Fort Bend County.
  • The discipline management plan and student code of conduct for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • An amendment of the 2016-2017 contract with the Harris County Department of Education for therapy services.
  • An interlocal agreement with Harris County Department of Education for therapy services for the 2017-2018 school year.
  • July 27 budget amendments.
  • The notice of public meeting to discuss the budget and proposed tax rate.
  • The proposal for the districtwide security upgrade package.
  • The method of purchase for the renovation of the Mayde Creek High School baseball field complex.
  • A proposal for a construction manager at risk contract for the comprehensive renovation Golbow and Pattison elementary schools.
  • The Katy Independent School District Katy Junior High School platt.
  • An amendment to the Stewart Builders, Inc. construction manager at risk contract for the guaranteed maximum price related to the agricultural sciences center expansion.
  • Endorsing Charles Cunningham of the Humble Independent School District for the Texas Association of school boards, district position for Region 4, Position B.
  • Approving trustee Bill Lacy as a delegate to the 2017 Texas Association of School Boards delegate assembly.