Work, findings, and recommendations of the Bond Steering Committee

  • In October 2015, a community comprised Bond Steering Committee was formed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Trustees and school district administration on a temporary basis with the charge of assessing new construction, capital improvements, renovation and technology needs.  The forty-seven voting members of this committee were made up entirely of community members, parents, business owners, and city representatives all with varied backgrounds and areas of expertise.  School district staff from various departments served as facilitators, provided background information regarding student growth, prior bond elections, curriculum philosophies, and district mission, goals, and vision.

    The committee met six times between October and December, 2015, including a variety of campus visits.  Each committee member toured and met with principals and campus staff to assess firsthand the individual needs of each existing campus.  As the committee members reviewed the needs of existing campuses and looked at the potential for new construction, they focused on the bond election recommendation to be a five-year plan.  The primary areas of the five-year plan were focused as follows:

    • Educational space to address enrollment growth
    • Facility improvements (additions, replacements, and repair)
    • Technology additions and replacement
    • Student support services solution(s) 

    The committee was provided a list compiled by school district staff regarding needs the committee members would not necessarily identify during their campus visits.  These included mostly scheduled maintenance type projects and renovations such as roof replacements, HVAC replacements, playground replacements, bleacher upgrades, and lighting retrofitting.  In summary, the committee’s primary activities were to:

    • Identify a comprehensive list of needs through campus site visits
    • Prioritization of needs (CISD staff & committee)
    • Identify bond dollar capacity
    • Develop and present a detailed recommendation to the Board of Trustees 

    Estimating Costs - Once the projects, new construction, campus additions, technology needs, furniture needs, etc. were identified and prioritized, one of the most complex activities was estimating the future cost of each project.  Since the projects would conceivably be completed over a five-year time span, inflation was considered, as well.  Essentially, four different sources were utilized to estimate the cost of each project, including district personnel, an architectural firm, a general contractor, and an independent third-party construction estimator.  For the larger projects such as the total renovation of Coppell High School and the construction of new schools, all four sources worked together to estimate the costs. 

    Prioritizing Projects – Seventy-seven different categories of projects were initially identified with a total estimated cost of $262,500,000.  The Bond Steering Committee believed it was important to keep the total bond package under $250 million.  Therefore, they went through a complex exercise of prioritizing the projects into three groups, with the Priority 1 being the most critical and Priority 3, while needed, were not as critical as Priority 1 and Priority 2 projects.  After this exercise, they were able to trim the total package to $249,040,000.  About fifteen of the seventy-seven projects were eliminated from consideration through this process.

    After many hours of work visiting campuses, analyzing data, and creating a five-year project plan, the Bond Committee proposed a $249,040,000 bond package to the Board of Trustees on December 14, 2015.