Amarillo ISD looks to bond election for campus renovations

Amarillo ISD looks to bond election for campus renovations

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Amarillo residents will decide this fall if an increase in property tax is worth some sort of renovation to every school in the Amarillo Independent School District.

Six high schools, 12 middle schools and 37 elementary schools make up the school district.

The school board said each of those campuses needs some type of renovation - from lighting to parking to sewage and electrical updates.

"Bathrooms are a real issue here," said Jim Austin, AISD School Board President. "Auditoriums are a real issue here. The delivery of the children, that's a real issue. How they get into the school and how they get out of the school, and then there are some schools that just need serious renovation."

"Serious" meaning elementary school classrooms, hallways, windows, wiring and more all need to be updated.

This can be said for middle and high school campuses, too.

Austin believes the board would need well over $100 million to update every campus in the district.

"I think you're talking about probably $50 million for the high schools, $40 million for the middle schools, and probably $50 million for the elementary schools if you did everything you wanted to do," he said.

This money would come from a property tax increase that would have to be approved by voters in a bond election next November.

For a $100 million bond, taxpayers would see a 5¢ increase on property tax, which for an average home Austin said would be about $40 a year.

A dollar amount has not been set for the bond election, but Austin said it could be $100 million to $150 million.

"We just want to make sure that if we do this, we get enough money to make renovations that last the next 50 years."

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