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School districts put forth bond propositions

As families continue to flood Denton County, several area school districts are planning for continued growth and asking taxpayers to fund new facilities.

Voters next month will decide whether to grant five school districts more than $1.3 billion in bond dollars collectively. If the propositions pass, the money would go toward projects that include school expansions, renovations, athletic and fine arts buildings, and technology.

Early voting begins April 24 and runs through May 2. Anyone in Denton County can vote at any early voting site. On May 6, election day, voters must vote at the polling place designated for their district. April 25 is the last day to apply for a ballot by mail.

Argyle ISD

Although the district just opened its first middle school in fall, Argyle is projected to almost double in size by 2023. The district's bond committee has proposed a $166 million bond package, with the majority of the funds allocated toward the construction of new schools.

About 85 percent of the bond would fund two new elementary schools, a 12-classroom addition to the district's existing high school, and an additional "phase two" high school site in Canyon Falls. The rest of the money would go toward intermediate and high school renovations, new administration and transportation buildings, technology upgrades and additional buses.

If the bond passes, the district's tax rate will go up 3 cents to $1.60 per $100 valuation, bringing a $30 yearly tax increase to a $100,000 home. Argyle ISD successfully passed a $45 million bond in 2014 with 59 percent of voters casting their ballots in favor of the proposition.

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Pilot Point ISD

Pilot Point ISD board members approved two bond propositions for the May election.

The first would grant the district $11.9 million for campus improvements to its middle and elementary schools. Students also could see a new band hall and agriculture facility in addition to stadium improvements and new softball and baseball fields. The district also would receive funding for future land purchases.

The second proposal would allocate $1.2 million for artificial turf at the district's football stadium.

If the bonds are approved, the district's tax rate would go up by 21 cents to $1.58 per $100 valuation. A homeowner with a $100,000 house in the district would pay about $105 more on their yearly property tax bill. 

Pilot Point ISD saw a failed $13.6 million bond proposal last spring with 55.8 percent voting against the measure.

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Sanger ISD

The largest portion of money earmarked in Sanger ISD's $26.7 million bond proposal will go toward expansions at the district's high school to allow for more academic space.

The package also calls for major roof and air conditioning maintenance, renovations for the middle school and improvements to agricultural facilities. Additional parking also would give the band program extra practice space.

Athletic facilities would also see upgrades in the form of a new fieldhouse near the football stadium, reconfigured locker rooms and artificial turf on the baseball and softball fields.

The district also plans to allocate $5 million from its general fund balance to help finance the proposed projects.

If the bond passes, the district's tax rate would increase by 19 cents to $1.56 per $100 valuation. That translates to a $143 yearly property tax increase for a $100,000 home.

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Lewisville ISD

The largest portion of Lewisville ISD's $737.5 million bond package would fund additions and renovations to the district's existing buildings, with a focus on elementary and high schools.

The package proposal also accounts for two new elementary schools, a new middle school and two new high school multi-purpose facilities. Athletic and fine arts upgrades, additional technology infrastructure and expanded security measures have also been earmarked.

If the bond passes, a taxpayer with a $100,000 home will see an increase of about $192 on their yearly property tax bill. Lewisville's last bond election saw the successful passage of a $698 million package.

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Northwest ISD

Northwest ISD, whose district covers portions of three counties, is projected to see an average of 1,200 new students each year. The school board has approved a $339 bond package that will now go to the voters.

The majority of the money — 66 percent — would help the district accommodate the growth that is projected with the addition of three new elementary schools and the replacement of another. The package also plans for the expansion of four elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools while also setting aside funds for the land purchase of future school sites.

Athletic and fine arts programs would see new and revamped facilities under the proposal, including a new district aquatic center. Renovations, technology upgrades and additional safety measures are also scheduled in the package.

If the bond passes, the district's tax rate would be bumped up 4 cents to $1.49 per $100 valuation. Taxpayers with the average $225,000 home in the district would see a yearly tax increase of $84. Northwest ISD passed its last bond in 2012 for $225 million.

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CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.