FORNEY, Texas— The Forney Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a bond referendum in May calling for $1.294 billion to address the district’s “breathtaking” growth.
The measure was approved at a special meeting called on February 17, 2022, and the proposed referendum on the bonds was presented by a facilities committee of 55 members from the public, parents, students, educators, property owners local businesses and community leaders.
“Unprecedented growth in listings is expected over the next few years as demand for housing has increased across Forney,” read a statement from Forney ISD on Thursday. “The latest quarterly enrollment report projects a staggering 25,000 students in five years and 35,000 students by 2031.”
This report is based on the latest data on housing starts, inventory, land use and enrollment trends presented by leading demographer Zonda Education, according to the district.
The district says the bond package that will go to voters in May will not increase the district’s tax rate, which currently sits at $1.37. Over the past three years, that rate had been lowered by 17 cents.
Three years ago, in November 2019, voters approved a $623 million bond referendum with a 73% approval rating. With these funds, growth revenue and savings, the district opened three new schools – Rhodes Intermediate, Jackson Middle School and Griffin Elementary. Additionally, two campuses will open in fall 2022, Willett Elementary and the new Johnson Elementary, and the Keith Bell Opportunity Central, which opened last month, is scheduled to open in 2023.
Of the plans for the 2019 bond referendum, the district says all will be completed by fall 2024.
And, due to under-budgeted construction projects, Forney ISD plans to open a tenth elementary school, add a gym and tornado shelter to the Rhea and Smith Intermediate campuses, and expand the center of transportation from North Forney High School.
In addition to these bond projects, Forney ISD has announced fair master plans that include Grade 9 extensions for Forney High and North Forney High.
The facilities committee recommended the proposed bond referendum in May 2022 to accommodate the projected 35,000 enrollment forecast.
“We had a diverse group of 55 citizens, from students and parents to staff to business and community leaders, who volunteered their time to serve on our 2022 facilities planning committee. They studied new enrollment projections, current facility capacities, budgets, construction costs and more before creating and recommending a set of bonds to our school board,” said Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry. “I appreciate their dedication and their special attention in planning the future of our students. »
Of the $1.294 billion, $347 million is earmarked for the construction of five new elementary/early years schools, an addition to OC Early Years, and an addition to Claybon Elementary School.
$889 million is earmarked for four new middle/middle schools, renovations at Warren Middle School, renovations and additions at Brown Middle School, The OC Phase 2 for additional high school capacity, and a third campus of high school.
$58 million is earmarked for district facilities and improvements, including land acquisition for new facilities, district-wide capital improvements, a transportation hub and additional space for the Forney Learning Academy .
“No matter where you look, you will see Forney’s growth. Enrollment is increasing every day in the district. We have exceeded enrollment projections for 2021-2022 and expect an additional 2,400 new students to FISD next year,” said Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry.