DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) – There’s $223.7 million on the Hays County ballot this May. It’s money for the Dripping Springs ISD 2023 bond.
It includes both a focus on the district’s growth, capital improvements and renovations on DSISD’s oldest campus and campus security, as well as ADA updates on all district campuses.
The 2023 bond package includes things like:
- Build Elementary School No. 6
- Expand Sycamore Springs Middle School
- Build New Facility for Special Education 18 Program
- Security Updates for all Campuses
- Classroom Portables
Previous bond failing
In November, voters decided not to pass three bonds for Dripping Springs ISD. Those proposals totaled $481 million.
Nathan Kaspar said he was one of the parents who voted against it.
“It was a very large amount, over a half a billion dollars. And there were a lot of questions as to whether those costs were appropriate or if they were kind of just asking for a blank check,” Kaspar said.
The new price tag is one Kaspar said he can get behind, but he said he wants to see more people on the school board with construction experience.
“If we have school board members that have a history and have professional expertise in construction, they will keep us from being ripped off by the construction companies,” Kaspar said.
Addressing capacity issues
According to the district, enrollment grew from roughly 4,500 to 8,500 students in the last decade. The district also expects enrollment to essentially double again, to 16,000, in the next decade.
Dripping Springs ISD is looking at spending $1,533,742 for six portables for FY 2023-24. That would provide a total of 12 classrooms.
More portables worry DSISD parent Lauren Naylor.
“They reach full capacity, and they overflow. And when that happens, you have your best teachers leaving, you have electives and extracurriculars that go away,” Naylor said. “You have portables that go up on every campus, and then home values plummet.”
Currently, Dripping Springs Elementary School already has two portables, and Sycamore Springs Middle School has three.
Ultimately, a decision will come on Election Day on May 6. Naylor said she’s left hoping this time around, the bond will pass.
“A large part of why people move to Dripping Springs is because our schools are top notch, and schools have to grow with the community,” she said.