Killeen: Bond steering committee formed

A rendering of the new elementary school that's scheduled to open in the fall of 2021. (KISD)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Eighteen months after Killeen ISD voters approved a record $426 million bond proposal, the district has formed another Bond Steering Committee to consider options for eliminating portable elementary school classrooms across the district and to plan for growth.

The committee of residents, parents and civic and business leaders could submit a recommendation to the Killeen School Board in January 2020 and a bond proposal could be put to KISD voters in May 2020.

“These are very important conversations that absolutely require the community’s input. We are committed to providing safe and welcoming facilities and the continued use of portable buildings remains an exposed risk,” Superintendent Dr. John Craft said in a press release Wednesday.

The KISD is using 257 of the 290 portables it owns for instructional purposes and those in use at secondary schools will be eliminated with the opening of the new Nolan Middle School in 2020 and a new high school in 2022, but the 2018 bond issue will eliminate just half of the portables now in use at elementary schools, the district said.

“The Bond Steering Committee will be asked to explore options to eradicate portable buildings across the district, as well as, accommodate growth for the next 10-12 years. Early projections indicate the district would need to build five additional elementary schools and a new middle school to meet the demand for growth without adding additional portables during this timeframe,” the district said.

The committee will also be asked to study the option of expanding football stadiums at Shoemaker, Ellison and Harker Heights high schools.

All four of the district’s high school varsity teams now use Leo Buckley Stadium and the new high school will soon be added to the schedule.

KISD Voters approved two propositions in May 2018 including a $235 million bond issue to pay for the new high school, a new elementary school and upgrades throughout the district to make schools safer and to improve accessibility for the disabled.

The second proposition called for a $191 million bond issue to pay for new schools and renovations at 11 existing campuses all of which are more than 50 years old.