Letter from the Superintendent
On Monday, February 13, 2023, the Board of Trustees unanimously called for a bond election to be held on May 6, 2023. Beginning in 2022, the Springtown ISD community, comprised of community members, business owners, parents, and SISD staff, evaluated various options and possibilities for the students of Springtown ISD. The capacity and critical needs impacting the District now and in the future were shared, discussed, and analyzed with the SISD Board of Trustees.
The recommendations for the Board’s consideration are a result of many meetings where the members performed the following:
● Review of the financial standing of the District
● Reviewed the growth prediction based on the demographic report, as well as
evaluated the impact
● Review of our existing school facilities
● Analysis of various scenarios of building new facilities, adding on and/or renovating,
and related costs.
These meetings concluded that various conditions throughout the District pose security concerns, the challenge of aging buildings, and overcrowding. This process identified critical needs and helped prioritize areas deemed most important to be recommended to the Board of Trustees for consideration leading to this called bond election. Highlights of the $120,780,000 bond include the following proposed projects: By constructing additional restrooms at Springtown Intermediate, the District will be able to serve PreK-5 at Goshen Creek Elementary, Reno Elementary, Springtown Elementary, and the current intermediate school that would become elementary. The realignment of moving 9th-graders to their campus (the current middle school building) will create more capacity at the newly constructed Middle School and Springtown High School to allow for additional academic programming.
Shane Strickland, Superintendent of Schools
Why Did We Call for A Bond?
The district held 8 meetings between the summer of 2022 and January 2023. The first four meetings involved administration, teachers, staff and 2 board members. The objective of those meetings was to gain a strong understanding of how the buildings performed from a teacher’s perspective, principal’s perspective, and an operation perspective.
Building capacity and demographic data were analyzed to see if and how much student growth was projected and the student capacity of each building. The data and actual enrollment proved that SISD is growing. In fact, SISD is classified as a fast growth district by the Texas Education Agency (https://tea.texas.gov/media/document/294776).
After determining the district is growing, and new housing developments are projected to continue to bring more students, and learning our buildings are nearing capacity, the group worked through several scenarios. The scenarios explored included a new elementary school, additions to each existing elementary school, additions to the intermediate school, a new high school, and a new middle school, essentially all viable options to absorb growth.
After much thought and analysis, the initial group determined that a new elementary school would in fact increase capacity at the elementary level, but it would not allow for future growth at the secondary level. It was important for the group to remain transparent and explore tax implications of all scenarios. No one in the group wanted to pay more taxes than necessary, to accomplish gaining as much capacity as possible at all grade levels for the bonding capacity with which they had to work.
It was also determined that a new high school would be too expensive to build, and SISD did not have the bonding capacity for it. While additions to all buildings could be possible, there was limited core space such as kitchens, cafeterias, and restrooms. The group found that a new middle school would allow for the most growth at every grade level if we could move some grades down from the intermediate school and from the high school. However, the initial they wanted to bring all options to the public to determine whether or not those scenarios made sense.
There were 5 public meetings held. The meetings had an open invitation and were advertised on social media and in the paper. A financial advisor, architect and construction firm provided information so the community could have a full understanding of the needs of the district, the financial implications and have an opportunity to provide input and feedback on all scenarios.
The district and community members found that a new middle school would be the most viable option to absorb growth. By building a new middle school, the existing intermediate school would then become an elementary school to serve grades PreK-5. The other 3 elementary schools would also serve grades PreK-5, which would allow for all 4 elementary schools to serve the same grade levels.
By building a middle school, the existing middle school would become a 9th grade center, which would allow for more capacity at the high school. The new middle school would provide capacity of 1200 students. At the last meeting in January, it was a unanimous decision to recommend the board call a bond in order to build a new middle school.
In addition to the group consensus, a survey through the district was administered to determine if the rest of the public was aware of the need for new space. The results of the survey supported the opinion of those that attended the meetings.
In summary, after hearing the consensus from in-person public meetings, consensus from district and staff meetings and seeing the results of a public survey, the board called a bond for a new middle school, and purchasing land for it, along with adding restrooms to the intermediate school.