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Can we revisit the CSISD Bond Discussion (signs are up, voting day approaches)

46,611 Views | 456 Replies | Last: 16 days ago by woodiewood1
SARATOGA
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UPDATE: Props A&B PASSED; Props C&D failed.

Personally I've gone back and forth on this a few times. I understand that the needs are needs and I don't mind paying to benefit the kids. I'm for BOTH high schools, I support BOTH high schools, my kids are zoned to 1 and I regularly attend sporting events at the other.

But 350 million ? Its a big number. Shouldn't we at least consider some out of the box thinking ?

In a conversation with a school board member a couple of weeks ago, this member made a compelling argument about the legitimacy of the needs and why, and it was logical and made good sense; however the wrap up statement bugged me and I'm circling back....(it was the following) "....and that is why X, Y, and Z are needed so we can avoid building the 3rd high school"

So seeing the election signs up for the bond today, I looked...

It cost ~$110 million to build CSHS. Yes that was 12ish years ago. Yes inflation. Its brings up a couple of points of discussion.

1) But you're telling me that we couldn't build a new high school for $350m ?

Seems we should at least look and consider it ?

2) Building a new high school doesn't address the problems with the admin buildings/infrastructure

What if (stick with me here); we didn't build a 3rd high school, but built a 2nd high school the way it should have been done the first time. 1) Make the AMCHS building the new admin building. This solves the admin issues with their present space, and has plenty of room to grow into. 2) Build the 2nd high school SOUTH of the population (for now) that we all know would grow out to it. This solves zoning fights as nobody is driving past 1 school to attend another and schools are a reasonable distance apart. No more gerrymandering zoning lines, and the 2nd school is AHEAD of growth. This 2nd high school would be somewhere SOUTH of 159.

agnerd
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AG
SARATOGA said:

It cost ~$110 million to build CSHS. Yes that was 12ish years ago. Yes inflation. Its brings up a couple of points of discussion.
I think it would be about $183 million to build last year. Unless we can get a good recession going, expect that a high school approved today would be at least $200 million to start building a year from now. Engineering costs keep rising along with materials.

Office space is WAY cheaper than school space. Converting Consol to administration would arguably be a big waste of money. I think that is the biggest issue with your plan. Admin building could be leveled and doubled in size much cheaper than a new high school.

Renovation can be half the cost of a new school. That's normal. Easy to get voters to approve a 2nd high school because ~half think they will be zoned to the new school. MUCH more difficult to add a 3rd since 2/3 of the voters will not be attending the school. You have to have serious over-crowding issues to get a majority of voters to spend money on a school they won't send their kids to. Because of all that, I won't be surprised if they proposed expanding both high schools in the future instead of building a third one. This is where your plan shines. If everyone will be in a "new' high school, they may be willing to spend obscene amounts of money. Then the only hurdle goes back to junior being able to make the football team at a 5A high school but not a 6A high school. We have 2 high schools now because of that. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out this/next time.


SARATOGA
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Thats kinda the point. I dont think there would be much "renovation" involved. Classrooms become offices, theatres are large meeting rooms/conference rooms, gym or cafeteria become storage. Renovations should be very very minimal.

Everyone sharing an office at Administration gets a new office (old classroom) already internet and a desk (teachers desk).

I don't see many costs in Admin moving to AMCHS, and lots and lots of extra space (offices) to grow into as the district expands with town.

So, lets round up on your figures, say $200M to build a new high school. Maybe $10M to "renovate" old AMCHS for the admin folks.......

And we "save" $140M (not spent) compared to the figure in the new bond !!!!

Shouldn't this at least be discussed as an option instead of constantly dumping money to remodel/repair/revitalize old things ?

Its pretty similar to buying a used car at a high price with a high interest rate, versus considering a new car when you can get 0% interest......Its at least worth running the numbers.

Note: I'd suggest selling the Sebesta Road property ID (13216) and Arrington Road Property ID (426762) and buying something not immediately close to CSHS solving the problems I mentioned above.

Something like (feel free to add your own suggestions here): Property ID 368086, which is presently owned by Brazos County.

Make the dividing line William D Fitch/Greens Prairie and everyone goes south to school. Schools separated by reasonable distance, drives and access are equal etc.

**Note - any zoning changes, even common sense and logical ones, need to be grandfathered in so that kids about to go to the new school have options to stay with friends they grew up with**
Stupe
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S
What about the salaries and insurance for another school full of administrators.

It's not just the building that costs money.
Rexter
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You do realize that if they turn AMCHS into admin, and save money, lightning will strike and they will all go up in smoke…right? Lord knows we can't save money.
CS78
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SARATOGA said:

What if (stick with me here); 1) Make the AMCHS building the new admin building. 2) Build the 2nd high school SOUTH of the population (for now) that we all know would grow out to it. This solves zoning fights as nobody is driving past 1 school to attend another and schools are a reasonable distance apart. No more gerrymandering zoning lines,

AMCHS is not near nice enough for our admin. They see what goes on at the city and they want that for themselves. Not those OLD buildings.

You fool yourself if you think gerrymandering wouldn't take place with zoning. The first thing they would do is take the state streets and send those kids as far south as necessary to place them in the newest school.
your dad
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AG

High School Additions and Renovations

1. The cost to build a high school today is between $200-$300 million.

2. Increasing the capacity of both high schools to 2,700 will delay a third high school for a LONG time. Who knows, maybe the need never arises. In fact, the district's demographer projects that in 2032-33 both high schools will have approximately 2,450 students. Go to the 2:00 mark in this video for projected high school enrollments.

3. The cost of operating a third high school would be approximately $6 million per year. Because the district is funded per student, there would be no additional funding whether the district has two high schools or three.

4. Turning Consol into central office building would not be an efficient use of space. According to the video linked above, the district is looking to expand from 44,000 square feet (current central office building) to approximately 90,000 square feet, and they are looking to purchase and renovate an existing building to accomplish that. Consol is approximately 400,000 square feet.
TXCityGirl
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Renovating buildings is the best idea. Existing real estate is much cheaper than trying to acquire the amount of acreage needed to build new school buildings + utilities + future renovations of these new buildings that will need help in the decades to come. High schools require ACRES and ACRES of land.

Yes, this is a lot of money. But, we want to have a community with great schools. We want the students at our schools to achieve well and have the best teachers. This is an investment in those wishes.

If you don't have kids, or if your kids are long gone, please vote yes for those of us who moved to College Station for the schools. For our kids!

If the schools didn't matter, we would all be living in Navasota or the like on some land.
HWY6_RunsBothWays
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AG
Ragnar Danneskjoldd
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Quote:

I don't mind paying to benefit the kids.
you're free to do that. Don't vote to indebt your neighbors to your own benevolence.
BCSWguru
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they have plenty of money, they dont need anymore.
TAMU1990
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AG
SARATOGA said:

Thats kinda the point. I dont think there would be much "renovation" involved. Classrooms become offices, theatres are large meeting rooms/conference rooms, gym or cafeteria become storage. Renovations should be very very minimal.

Everyone sharing an office at Administration gets a new office (old classroom) already internet and a desk (teachers desk).

I don't see many costs in Admin moving to AMCHS, and lots and lots of extra space (offices) to grow into as the district expands with town.

So, lets round up on your figures, say $200M to build a new high school. Maybe $10M to "renovate" old AMCHS for the admin folks.......

And we "save" $140M (not spent) compared to the figure in the new bond !!!!

Shouldn't this at least be discussed as an option instead of constantly dumping money to remodel/repair/revitalize old things ?

Its pretty similar to buying a used car at a high price with a high interest rate, versus considering a new car when you can get 0% interest......Its at least worth running the numbers.

Note: I'd suggest selling the Sebesta Road property ID (13216) and Arrington Road Property ID (426762) and buying something not immediately close to CSHS solving the problems I mentioned above.

Something like (feel free to add your own suggestions here): Property ID 368086, which is presently owned by Brazos County.

Make the dividing line William D Fitch/Greens Prairie and everyone goes south to school. Schools separated by reasonable distance, drives and access are equal etc.

**Note - any zoning changes, even common sense and logical ones, need to be grandfathered in so that kids about to go to the new school have options to stay with friends they grew up with**
Consol is bigger than CSHS and has more attached land that can be used in expansion than CSHS. It makes no sense to not clean it up. The problem isn't driving an extra 2 miles north, it's the inadequate space for extra curriculars and space outside classrooms. Band hall, cheer/dance areas, athletic facilities, locker rooms, cafeteria, library, theatre, etc.

The kids who live in town need to be closer to school. Lots of kids walk or have parents drop them off before they go to work.

They will not be building a new HS school for 1750, but closer to 3000. It will cost over $300M and $6 million a year to run it.

The district should had immediately started renovating Consol in 2013 - as soon as they opened CSHS. What a giant mistake.

Just for kicks - Conroe ISD is voting on a $1.9 BILLION dollar bond next month. This is nothing compared to that.
PS3D
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Quote:

Thats kinda the point. I dont think there would be much "renovation" involved. Classrooms become offices, theatres are large meeting rooms/conference rooms, gym or cafeteria become storage. Renovations should be very very minimal.
AMCHS being renovated into office space is a bad take, doubling down on it is laughable.


Firstly, the current CSISD building, eyeballing it, is only about 50k square feet of space, whereas A&M Consolidated High School is over 400k square feet of space. Even if you cut it down to account for hallways and all that, it still comes off as easily four times the size as the existing CSISD building. What on earth are they going to do with all the space? They can either hire pencil-pushers to use up the space or attempt to lease the space, and office vacancies are at all-time highs.


Secondly, the building is designed to be where it is...accessible location, parking designed for bus loops, athletic facilities, etc., and moving the high school means that you need to account for ALL of that. Moving the admin building is just as simple as plopping down an office building anywhere in town.


Quote:




Everyone sharing an office at Administration gets a new office (old classroom) already internet and a desk (teachers desk).

I don't see many costs in Admin moving to AMCHS, and lots and lots of extra space (offices) to grow into as the district expands with town.


The classrooms at AMCHS are too big for a single office and too small for cubicle farms. You're going to basically gut the building to make it work, not to mention re-wiring everything.
George Costanza
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"they have plenty of money, they dont need anymore."

How much money do they have why don't they need anymore?
GinnyJ
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The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
George Costanza
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"The district should had immediately started renovating Consol in 2013 - as soon as they opened CSHS. What a giant mistake."

Looks like from past bonds around 40 million dollars has been spent on renovations and improvements since then at Consol?
Stupe
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S
The CSISD school board proved that they didn't care how the attendance zone affected the students during the last rezoning.

They just cared how the numbers looked.

Some parents had kids at two different high schools because they wouldn't let a few grandfather in with siblings that were upperclassmen.
Stupe
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S
GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
Yep. A good learning environment isn't necessary for students. I need my Whataburger money.
CS78
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Stupe said:

GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
Yep. A good learning environment isn't necessary for students. I need my Whataburger money.


Shiny new crap does not equal a better learning environment.
Ragnar Danneskjoldd
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Stupe said:

GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
Yep. A good learning environment isn't necessary for students. I need my Whataburger money
Texas students are funded around $14k per student on average. Times 20 students in a class, theyre funding at about $280K per classroom. Give 60-70 to the teacher.

What kind of returns are we getting? Most kids in district not on grade level. Clearly, the only answer is more money. Always more money. Dont change anything else, just give them more money. Always. Do not question.
jfbags96
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GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
The jump in your taxes has nothing to do with the school district. That has to do with the county appraisal district increasing the appraised value of your house/property. In fact, the school district has lowered their tax rate over 30% since 2017. They lowered 21.5 cents from last year.
Ragnar Danneskjoldd
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AG
jfbags96 said:

GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
The jump in your taxes has nothing to do with the school district. That has to do with the county appraisal district increasing the appraised value of your house/property. In fact, the school district has lowered their tax rate over 30% since 2017. They lowered 21.5 cents from last year.
Did they tax at a no new revenue rate? (They didnt) If not, the district raised taxes on homeowners. M&O makes up about half of a property tax bill. Dont mistake the state buying down M&O rates with districts lowering taxes.
birdman
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It's a hard pass from me.
Stupe
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S
Quote:

What kind of returns are we getting? Most kids in district not on grade level.
Most kids in CSISD are not on grade level?

Where are you getting that from?
tamufan
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"The jump in your taxes has nothing to do with the school district. That has to do with the county appraisal district increasing the appraised value of your house/property. In fact, the school district has lowered their tax rate over 30% since 2017."
**
This shows no understanding of the property tax bills we all receive. The school district decides how much they want to budget (within certain constraints). The school district then looks at the appraised values in the district, and divides the district's desired budget by the district's total appraised values to get the district's proposed/desired tax rate. (There are restrictions on just how much revenue the district can raise without a vote, but what I wrote is the basic procedure for setting property tax rates.)

Again, tax rates are set with a budget number in mind. Higher budget numbers require higher property tax bills. Higher property tax bills occur when the tax rate multiplied by the appraisal value is a higher number. But the school district SETS the tax rate (within limits set by the state) taking the appraised values as given. It is not like the tax rate is given to districts. The districts set the tax rate.

I don't have a position, yet, on this ballot issue. But I do have a position on people failing to understand the property tax system.
doubledog
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Remove all sports related expenditures and I will think about.
Stupe
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S
I agree.

Those kids don't need decent facilities for extra curricular activities.

Why even have sports? Let them go home, play XBox, and get fat.
scs01
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Ragnar Danneskjoldd said:

jfbags96 said:

GinnyJ said:

The yearly jump in my property tax bill is enough to make me vote no.
The jump in your taxes has nothing to do with the school district. That has to do with the county appraisal district increasing the appraised value of your house/property. In fact, the school district has lowered their tax rate over 30% since 2017. They lowered 21.5 cents from last year.
Did they tax at a no new revenue rate? (They didnt) If not, the district raised taxes on homeowners. M&O makes up about half of a property tax bill. Dont mistake the state buying down M&O rates with districts lowering taxes.
A better question: How do our tax increases compare *with inflation* over the years? I don't think the no-new-revenue rate takes that into account, and I think it's reasonable to see tax increases in line with inflation. If not you're effectively expecting the district to accomplish the same thing with less money.

I don't know about overall collections in the district, but I've done the comparison for my house (not including improvements to the property reflected in the county appraisal). I didn't look at this year because state reforms are going to significantly lower school property taxes. My school property tax increase from 2014 to 2022 was about 23%. That is just about spot on in line with inflation over that period, which was 24% according to an online calculator I found. So taking inflation into account, the increases in my property value and decreases in the school tax rate have just about exactly offset. I think that's pretty reasonable.
George Costanza
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"Texas students are funded around $14k per student on average."

It's actually closer to $12k per student on average and that's about $5k less than the national average.
George Costanza
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"Did they tax at a no new revenue rate? (They didnt)"

School districts are capped by law at a 2.5% increase per year without voter approval … even if inflation is greater than that amount.
tu ag
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AG
I am leaning:
Maybe on A and B +
No on C and D

  • PROPOSITION A: General ($284,975,000)
    • Districtwide Safety & Security
    • Renovations to Rock Prairie Elementary
    • A&M Consolidated HS Additions and Renovations
    • Phase II College Station HS Additions and Renovations
    • Phase II Career and Technical Education Center
    • College View HS Cosmetology Lab
    • Middle School Playing Fields Renovations
    • Central Office Additions and Renovations
    • Transportation
    • Technology Infrastructure
    • Facilities Maintenance Improvements
    • Land Acquisition
  • PROPOSITION B: Technology Devices ($14,145,000)
  • PROPOSITION C: Football Stadiums ($38,475,000)
    • Tiger Stadium Field House Additions and Renovations
    • Tiger Stadium Renovations
    • Cougar Stadium Renovations
  • PROPOSITION D: Baseball/Softball Stadiums ($13,270,000)

  • Cartographer
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    I'm for all of the renovations and tech infrastructure.

    It's all necessary. A & B are a go for me.
    Stupe
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    S
    Quote:

    What kind of returns are we getting? Most kids in district not on grade level.
    Still waiting on a link with evidence that most kids in CSISD are below grade level.

    TAMU1990
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    AG
    George Costanza said:

    "The district should had immediately started renovating Consol in 2013 - as soon as they opened CSHS. What a giant mistake."

    Looks like from past bonds around 40 million dollars has been spent on renovations and improvements since then at Consol?


    And none of it was spent on the list I just posted. It needs way more than $40M plus what is on the bond. Have you walked around Consol? If you have you would know.
    phillytex24
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    I'm voting no on any spending bills.
     
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