AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lake Travis ISD is expected to grow by more than 4,000 students over the next few years, but can the district handle the growth?
“We are expecting tremendous growth right now in Lake Travis,” said Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton. “Knowing those students are coming, we have to have classroom space for those students and activity space for those students.”
The $703 million bond package would go toward a new high school and two new elementary schools. It would also add technology improvements and new athletic facilities. These are just a few of the many upgrades the money would cover.
“We need to address the growth,” said Karen Mechura, a parent of a sophomore at Lake Travis High School. “We are already growing, and it is going to be continuing.”
Mechura said she is for the bond because she wants to ensure the district continues offering the best facilities for students and teachers.
“We can either band-aid our way through it and those band-aids are expensive and they can add up or we can solve the problem and build new schools,” said Mechura.
There is a sign up on State Highway 71 urging voters not to pass the bond, saying it will increase taxes. KXAN asked the district what taxpayers can expect if the bond passes.
“There will be no increase to our tax rate,” Norton said. “If their property values go up, then they will pay more in property taxes because of the value, but as far as the rate that is issued by the school, it will stay the same.”
Another question that comes up is how would adding another high school affect athletics at Lake Travis High School. Could another high school split the talent?
“Having two different high schools would give more students an opportunity to be involved in extracurricular activities in other things,” Norton said, “but I think our football program would be fine, I think our baseball team would be fine, all the programs would continue to prosper and grow.”
The district said if another high school is built it would not be in the same classification as Lake Travis High School so the two would not compete against each other.
If the bond passes, the new high school could be completed by 2027.
If the bond fails, the district said it will have to add portable classrooms at Lake Travis High School to accommodate the growth.
You can learn more about the Lake Travis ISD bond package on the district website.