Salado school trustees voted unanimously at a special board meeting Aug. 8 to order an election for two propositions for the issuance of bonds totaling $270,450,000 to be placed on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Jim Reed made the motion to order the bond election, receiving a second from board secretary Savannah Hennig. All trustees voted in favor: Reed, Hennig, board president Dr. Bobbie Ann Adair White, vice president Amy McLane, Chris Diem, Dr. Eric Malmin, and David Mathews.
According to the order, the ballot will read as follows:
“PROPOSITION A The issuance of $235,960,000 of bonds by the Salado Independent School District for a new high school; renovations at Thomas Arnold Elementary School; re-purpose existing high school for an intermediate school; information technology infrastructure and HVAC replacements, and levying the tax in payment thereof. This is a property tax increase.”
“PROPOSITION B The issuance of $34,490,000 of bonds by the Salado Independent School District for a new stadium complex and levying the tax in payment thereof. This is a property tax increase.”
Trustees also approved B101-2017 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect with PBK Architects, Inc. of Austin for design work at a rate of 6% of the actual construction cost.
The agreement sets out the following costs for items in Proposition A:
New High School: 1,000 Student Capacity with core spaces sized for 1,500 at a cost of $179,307,000.
TAE 1 & 3 Replacement + Site Improvements: 800 Student Capacity at a cost of $52,008,750.
Re-purpose Existing High school at a cost of $1,775,000. The high school will be re-purposed as an intermediate school.
IT Infrastructure Upgrades for Skyward and Document Storage at a cost of $324,000.
Instructional Technology Upgrades for Interactive Flat Panels (IFP) in Classrooms at a cost of $486,000.
Bi-Directional Amplifier at a cost of $351,000.
HVAC Unit Replacement at Existing High School at a cost of $1,728,000.
The agreement sets out the following costs for items in Proposition B: New Stadium Complex with 5,000 seats at a cost of $34,489,539.
The proposed projects follow the recommendation of the District’s Facility Planning Committee composed of 47 community members and 11 non-voting administrative members. The committee met seven times since February to build consensus on a long range facilities plan for the district.
The committee recommends the following long range future projects: Second Elementary School, Fine Arts Auditorium for High School and Animal Barn for the High School. These are not included in the propositions.
Hilltop Securities developed a pro forma to determine the district’s bond capacity and a payment schedule based on future property value growth based upon an interest rate of 4.5%.
The pro forma estimates taxable property values to increase 16% each year in 2025-2029, 12% growth in 2030, 8% in 2031 and 4% growth annually 2032-2058.
The pro forma establishes taxable property values at $1.7 billion in 2024, growing to $12.7 billion in 2058.
The I&S tax rate to retire the debt will remain at $0.50 per $100 valuation through 2030 and begin decreasing over the next 28 years.
Zonda Education, in a demographics study for Salado ISD, predicts that enrollment in Salado schools will increase by an average of more than 6% per year through 2032 at which year the enrollment is predicted to be 4,149 students. SISD enrollment as of Aug. 1 2023 was 2,350 students. The Zonda study estimated the enrollment for the 2023-24 school year would be 2,522.
Salado ISD has three campuses: Thomas Arnold Elementary, Salado Middle School and Salado High School.
PBK Architects compiled a facilities assessment for the district. It identified the square footage of each campus, the design capacity for enrollment and assigned a Facilities Condition Index (FCI) for of each school facility in which lower percentage is a better score.
Thomas Arnold Elementary is the oldest of the schools with buildings occupied in 1967 (TAE 1), 1979 (TAE 3) and 1999 (TAE 2). Thomas Arnold Elementary sits on 33.5 acres, which includes the old softball and baseball fields and the current football stadium.
TAE 1 is 48,171 sq. ft and has a Facilities Condition Index of 89%. TAE 2 is 71,191 sq. ft. with an FCI of 35%. TAE 3 is 61,496 sq. ft. with an FCI of 60%.
The design capacity is for TAE is 1,136 students. Enrollment for 2023 is 1,103.
Salado High School was occupied in fall 2008. It sits on 50.00 Acres and is 114,435 sq. ft. It has a design capacity of 659 students. Current enrollment is 734 students.
Salado Middle School is the newest school, sitting on 51.73 acres and serving grades 6-8, opening to students in Fall 2020. It is 136,000 sq. ft. with a Design Capacity of 621 students. Enrollment for 2023 is 603 students. It has an FCI of 5%.