Diving into the bond package

Wimberley ISD

Wimberley Independent School District is proposing $45.5 million in bond projects aimed at enhancing the quality of education for local students, including a new 85,000-square-foot primary school at Ranch Road 12 and Winters Mill Parkway. The bond proposal for the new elementary school is $25 million. Housing 36 regular classrooms, Special Education classrooms, a gymnasium, a library and a cafeteria, the facility will have capacity for 675 students in PreK through second grade. This new modern school will also include several smaller reading and math intervention classrooms, where students will learn in small group settings.  WISD will use the Jacobs Well Elementary architectural blueprint, with a few minor changes, to construct the new campus.  This will save the district in architectural fees.

“Opening a new school for students in PreK through second grade would alleviate overcrowding at both Scudder and Jacob’s Well,” said Dwain York, WISD Superintendent. “This new school would also assure that WISD is meeting Texas Education Agency standards in providing students and teachers the space and tools to achieve their education goals,” he added. 

The bond package also includes $984,000 in improvements to the Scudder Primary School campus including repurposing one wing to house the district’s technology department and classrooms for student in the alternative education program. Built in 1988, the 36,000-square-foot Scudder Primary School on 400 Green Acres Drive has a capacity of 304 students, however, the current enrollment is 404 students bringing the building to 134 percent over capacity*. 

“While Scudder will no longer serve as a primary school, we can make full-use of the building to accommodate the areas of growth for WISD and also serve the need for adult education in our community,” said York.

The school district plans to begin partnership discussions with Austin Community College to provide continuing education courses and would open up the repurposed Scudder building to adult learners. 

Scudder Primary School principal, Dara Richardson, will move with her students to the new elementary school and continue in her role. She has served WISD since 2014.

“Since we are the first school experience for many students, we take very seriously our role in making their early education days impactful and a place where they begin their path toward being lifetime learners,” said Richardson. “Over time, our school has grown and some of our teaching tools have become obsolete,” she added. 

The bond proposal would come with a $.065 I&S tax increase per $100 of a homeowner’s taxable property value.  Taxpayers who are 65 years of age or older will not be affected by the tax increase.  Below are examples of the monthly change in WISD tax rate:

• $200,000 (taxable value) @.065/100, results in a monthly increase of  $10.83

• $250,000 (taxable value) @.065/100, results in a monthly increase of  $13.54

• $300,000 (taxable value) @.065/100, results in a monthly increase of  $16.25

Voters will consider this WISD bond proposition when they go to the polls on May 5. Early voting begins on April 23 at the Wimberley Community Center at 14068 Ranch Road 12. Visit www.wimberleyisd.net for more details on the bond or contact dwain.york@wimberleyisd.net. York is also hosting two public forums on March 8, at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the WISD board room at 14401 Ranch Rd 1 and looks forward to sharing the details of the bond with local residents. 

*This is information taken from TEA, Science Curriculum, August 2010. Thinking about space for next year - “Combination science laboratories / classrooms shall have a minimum of 900 square feet per room at the elementary school level.  The minimum room size is adequate for 22 students; 41 square feet per student shall be added to the minimum square footage for each student in excess of 22.”

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