The Burnet Consolidated Independent School District is eyeing major upgrades and improvements across the district to the tune of about $33 million.
On August 12, district trustees voted unanimously to call for a November 5 bond election. And the district won’t have to raise its tax rate this year to support the bond.
The bond package touches every campus: a new wing at Bertram Elementary School; remotely controlled locking systems on classroom doors at all campuses; upgrades to the Burnet High School theater; classroom acoustic improvements at Burnet Middle School; and upgrades to the athletic complex. View a complete list and estimated cost breakdown.
The board is looking at an overall tax rate of $1.185 per $100 valuation. If the board passes the proposed rate during its August 26 meeting, it would be the fourth year in a row the district has been able to lower the ad valorem tax rate.
As for the bond, the district started a comprehensive facilities need assessment in March. The needs assessment was informed by the previous 2013 facilities needs assessment, walkthroughs of facilities by architects and specialized consultants, and interviews with principals and department heads. The findings were presented to the board on May 6, which was followed by three additional meetings during which trustees reviewed costs, discussed the projects, and prioritized them.
Along with the trustees, a Facilities Community Advisory Committee made up of parents, community leaders, and residents helped with the process.
“The Board of Trustees, as elected representatives of the BCISD community, have been very involved and hands on in creating the list of priority projects at each campus,” Superintendent Keith McBurnett said. “The board was pleased that there was such a strong level of agreement of the priority projects among FCAC members.”
During the August 12 meeting, the board took in the committee feedback and information from the district’s financial advisor and bound counsel. After all that, members decided to put the bond before voters in November.
“The work of maintaining facilities and planning for the future is truly never done,” McBurnett said. “I applaud the Board of Trustees for the countless hours they have spent the past four months in studying this issue, and I thank the members of the FCAC for their valuable feedback.
“This bond proposal will address growth, security, learning environments, and aging systems, while at the same time, voters will recognize a tax rate decrease of 7.5 cents,” he added.