Sugar Land, TX News (June 13, 2014) - At the Regular Fort Bend ISD Board Business Meeting on June 9, the FBISD Board of Trustees reviewed a long-range Master Capital Plan presentation to prioritize the District’s capital needs that include: construction, security, technology, and transportation projects, as well as facility and educational adequacy deficiency improvements over the next decade.
The priorities in the Master Capital Plan were developed as part of a three-phase plan and based on significant community engagement for developing a Facilities Master Plan, a Security Master Plan, and a Technology Master Plan. These plans served as guides in prioritizing the immediate and long-range capital needs for the District. The administration also discussed with the Board their recommendation to call a November 2014 bond election for Phase One of the plan in the range of $333.4 million.
Preliminary plans for the Phase One capital needs for the next three years include:
- $279.8 million for construction projects: new construction of elementary schools in Aliana and Riverstone, as well as two other schools; classroom additions, current facility deficiencies, educational adequacy deficiencies, and building system life-cycle needs;
- $34 million for security and safety upgrades: security cameras, security vestibules, window film, security fencing, access control, emergency generators, new emergency notification system, and others;
- $15.7 million for transportation needs: bus cameras, bus global positioning systems (GPS), and new school buses;
- $65.7 million for technology infrastructure: Internet infrastructure upgrade, wide area network refresh, data center SAN and virtualization, data center facilities modifications, wireless network deployment, local area network refresh, and others;
- $18.4 million for land purchases; and
- $19.2 million for other needs: athletic facility life-cycle replacements, white fleet vehicle replacements, energy conservation initiatives and bond support.
Throughout the planning process, the administration has shared with the Board their intent to demonstrate prudent financial management when addressing District needs. The administration discussed plans to use available funding sources for the capital plan, including over $30 million of unspent funds from past bonds and $63 million of unissued, but authorized funds from the 2007 Bond that were allocated for buses and two schools. The administration also shared plans to identify available operating funds to address the replacement of computers and other technology purchases of equipment with short life-spans.
“The plans are far from being finalized, and if approved, the funds for the capital needs would be spent immediately on projects to get ahead of the District’s growth as much as possible, while taking care of the most pressing long-term needs,” said Dr. Charles E. Dupre, Superintendent of Schools.
Chief Financial Officer Steve Bassett said, “Fort Bend ISD will be able to handle the bond’s additional debt for Phase One without requiring an increase in the tax rate, which could be realized with additional assessed value growth of seven percent for the next four years. This growth includes the value of new residential construction and development.”
The last Bond Referendum passed by the voters in Fort Bend ISD was in 2007 when the District had 67,000 students and 68 schools. Since 2007, six new schools were opened, and three were rebuilt as part of the bond package. Fort Bend has grown to serve more than 71,000 students with 74 campuses. The projected student enrollment for 2018 is 77,764, and the projected student enrollment for 2023 is 84,997.
Fort Bend ISD is the largest employer in Fort Bend County with more than 9,500 full and part-time employees. The District spans 170 square miles and includes more than 11 million square feet of facilities and more than 1,757 acres.
“It is critically important to have a Capital Master Plan that incorporates current capital priorities and educational adequacy deficiencies, as well as looking ahead over the next 10 years, to enable the District to plan effectively and be prepared to serve 78,000 students in the next three to four years and 85,000 in the next decade. We want our primary focus to be on our mission to inspire and equip all students to pursue futures beyond what they can imagine,” said Dupre.
FBISD Planning by the Numbers
71,222 Current FBISD Student Enrollment
77,764 Five-year student enrollment projection for 2018
84,997 10-year student enrollment projection for 2023
9,500 Largest employer in Fort Bend County with more than 9,500 full and part-time employees
170 FBISD spans 170 square miles
74 FBISD schools (45 elementary, 14 middle schools, 11 high schools and 4 unique programs)
92 FBISD facilities total with 220 permanent buildings
11,233,542 Total permanent square feet for FBISD facilities
1,757 Total acres maintained by FBISD