BCISD Superintendent answers questions regarding bond
Have questions about the Bridge City Independent School district’s bond election? Mike King, superintendent of schools, has some answers to your questions and possibly some questions you haven’t thought about.
When is the election?
Early Voting begins October 20 and runs through October 31. The regular election date is November 4.
As taxpayers, when will we see the tax increase?
This is projected to be 24-30 months from the time the bond passes and bonds will be sold as construction progresses. The entire amount of the bond will not be sold until the project is complete. Therefore; the total tax rate of $0.19 will not be realized until all the bonds are sold.
Can the needs identified by the facility committee be met without building an auditorium?
The high school does not have a regulation stage nor practice facility for Theatre Arts. There is not a facility that is designed for concerts, theatre and dance performances. Therefore; to build a facility that provides the needed practice facilities for our Fine Arts programs and not include an auditorium performance venue does not fully address the needs of our students and programs.
What is the square footage (s.f.) and projected % of cost of the different areas of the Cardinal Complex in relation to the overall cost of the bond?
These percentages are all based on projected cost and take into account that the auditorium has higher ceilings. All percentages are based on the total cost of the bond at $25 million.
The auditorium is 28,000 s.f. This includes the lobby, restrooms, mechanical rooms, concession, auditorium, stage, back stage and dressing room. It is projected to be 22% of the total bond amount or $5.5 million. (The auditorium has higher ceilings and has a greater cost per s.f. as a result.)
The theater, band, dance and choir practice and classroom areas are 29,000 s.f. and are projected to be 21% of the total bond amount or $5.25 million.
The athletic area of the Cardinal Complex is 27,000 s.f. and is projected to be 20% of the total bond amount or $5 million.
The seven additional classrooms are 11,500 s.f. and are projected to be 9% of the total bond amount or $2.25 million.
The renovations at the baseball/softball complex will be 6% or $1.4 million.
If I am 65 years of age or older; will my taxes on my primary residence (homesteaded) go up?
No. Your taxes on your primary residence, where your homestead exemption is applied, are frozen at the age of 65 years.
How long has this been considered and discussed?
This bond is the result of almost 2 years of discussions by administrators, directors, community members. It has led to the creation of a Community Facility Committee that has toured facilities, held meetings, led community meetings and created community surveys. All this discussion and work has identified the areas of need that are addressed with this bond.
How were the prices for the projects determined?
These are projected probable cost estimates that are based on historical cost of previous projects of a similar nature. The architect developed these cost estimates based on current market values for commercial construction. As a public entity that receives federal funding, we must adhere to the Davis-Bacon Wage Rate for subcontractors. Information concerning the Davis-Bacon Wage Rate can be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts/dbra.htm
Did these projects go out for bids to contractors? What contractors will bid these projects?
This project will be competitively bid upon passing of the bond. It will be posted and local general contractors will be given the opportunity and encouraged to bid on project(s). As in any construction project we plan on cost savings to be realized through the competitive bidding process. The amount of bonds sold will be determined by the final cost of the project which will not exceed $25 million but could be less if the cost savings are realized through the bid, design and construction process.
What has/is being done about the air conditioning at the Middle School?
In the 2011-12 school year the district replaced a cooling tower at the Middle School. In the spring of 2012 an independent engineering firm did an evaluation of the chiller unit at the Middle School and it was determined by the independent engineering firm that the chiller was operating well within specifications. It was determined that the air conditioning issues could be attributed to the old pneumatic system of the control boxes in the trunk lines throughout the building. In the summer of 2013 the district replaced all of the pneumatic systems in the control boxes with state-of-the-art digital systems. These systems allow the temperature to be controlled and monitored on site at the thermostat and remotely from the Service Center. As issues arise they are communicated to the campus principal and the service department. Both groups monitor the issue to ensure that the matter is resolved. Since the installation of the new digital systems and the
initiation of the monitoring system, the volume of air conditioning issues on the campus has decreased dramatically.
Is there an asbestos issue at the Middle School?
No. The district is required by law to have independent asbestos inspections conducted every 3 years. The inspections are conducted every 3 years, and the last one was completed in 2012. The district conducts twice-a-year self-inspections for asbestos by certified employees which is documented along with the 3 year independent inspections. After the last bond election there was work done on the HVAC system at the Middle School in which there was asbestos abatement (removal) done during the construction. The district has maintained the self-inspections and 3 year independent inspections since the AHERA laws where introduced in 1988.