Van Alstyne ISD Raises Bond Issue To Keep Up With City Growth - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Van Alstyne ISD Raises Bond Issue To Keep Up With City Growth

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VAN ALSTYNE, TX -- the school board elected to put a bond issue on the ballot for November. It focuses on expansion as well as safety.  

Van Alstyne schools may look rural -- but it's no secret that the community is growing.

"Kids wanting to come here, parents wanting their kids to be here, so we're anticipating our growth going from that three percent to five percent and possibly over ten percent this year," said superintendent John Spies.

To keep up, the district is trying to pass a bond issue. It will add six classrooms to the elementary school and add fire suppression sprinklers. The high school will get another eight classrooms, increase cafeteria space, and add a culinary kitchen for students.  The district wanted to wait for next year but moved plans up after seeing an increase this summer.

"With the rapid growth we've been seeing over the last six months, we decided that we couldn't wait that long." Spies said. 

The superintendent says that some of the growth comes from the Dallas corridor expansion and large housing additions like this one bringing hundreds of families into Van Alstyne.

"We want to make sure we fit in," said Mike Curtis, a new resident. "You know, when you go to small towns if it's not growing, then you're considered an outsider, so we wanted to go in somewhere that's a growing community."

The bond issue costs about eight million dollars and the district will pay for one million of that out of savings -- the remainder will not be funded through a tax increase.

"We've done this by refinancing some bonds at a lower interest rate and also we've been very blessed some new industry in town that has raised our tax base to where that industry is paying for that construction instead of homeowners," Spies said.

After a tornado touched down near the schools, the district is making all new classrooms tornado rated, meaning all students in elementary and high schools will have somewhere to go when spring weather threatens.  

If the bond issue passes, the elementary school construction will be ready by next fall. The high school's expansion is slated to finish in October of 2015.