Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approves bond referendum for November ballot

$475.8 million bond package developed by 60-member citizens committee after many months of extensive study and analysis

ROCKWALL, TX – August 3, 2021 — By a vote of 6-0, the Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees have agreed to place a $475.8 million bond referendum consisting of two propositions on the upcoming November ballot. The election will be November 2nd with early voting from October 18th through October 29th.

With an expected 21% increase in its student population by 2030, the Rockwall ISD Board of Trustees commissioned a Facilities Bond Committee (FBC) in 2019 to study the district’s needs and make a recommendation on what should be included in an upcoming bond proposal. Although the process was put on hold during 2020, The Facilities Bond Committee came back together in 2021 to finish their work and ultimately made a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The 60-member committee comprised of parents, grandparents, teachers, and business and community leaders from across Rockwall ISD, with the assistance of a professional facilitator, reviewed financial data, current academic needs and projected student growth. After many months of extensive study, the FBC came to a consensus on the proposed bond package.

“The Rockwall ISD 2021 bond package is designed to impact every student in Rockwall ISD with new and renovated schools, basic maintenance and capital upgrades, technology and security updates, new busses and athletic and fine arts facility renovations and additions,” said Joe Wimpee, a member of the FBC.

If the $475.8 million bond package is approved by voters, the projected impact to the tax rate is estimated to be less than one penny. Homeowners 65 years of age and older will see no increase in their property tax if they have filed for their over 65 homestead exemption.

It should be noted that all approved bonds are not sold at one time – only at the time the funds are needed for the approved projects. While Rockwall ISD has grown by more than 3,000 students over the last decade, the current tax rate is the lowest it’s been in the past 30 years. A breakdown of the bond propositions are detailed below:

Proposition A: $458,926,000
For the purposes of designing, constructing, renovating, improving, upgrading, updating, acquiring, and equipping school facilities, the purchase of the necessary sites for school facilities, and the purchase of new school buses, such bonds to mature serially or otherwise (not more than 40 years from their date) in accordance with law.

Proposition B: $16,919,000
For the purposes of acquiring and updating technology equipment, such bonds to mature serially or otherwise (not more than 5 years from their date) in accordance with law.

The administration also recommended that the Board of Trustees consider using previous bond savings from the District’s 2015 bond program to fund the remaining projects recommended by the Facilities Bond Committee. These projects include improvements and capital upgrades to the two district performing art centers, the Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium and the Rockwall ISD’s Aquatic Center. The approval of these additional bond projects has no impact to the tax rate.

Rockwall ISD last held a bond election in 2015 when voters approved a $256 million bond package. The 2015 bond projects including the Dr. Gene Burton College & Career Academy, four new elementary schools, capital improvements and renovations to existing schools, technology upgrades and replacements, and safety and security system upgrades were collectively completed on time and within budget. And, since the 2015 bond election, Rockwall ISD has lowered its debt service tax rate by a total of three cents.

Submitted press release by Rockwall ISD.

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