Lockhart ISD schools are bursting at the seams. A $71 million bond could help with overcrowding.
The number of students attending Lockhart ISD schools is growing faster than demographers expected.
“We’re looking at nearly a 5% percent growth this year,” Lockhart ISD Chief of Staff Christina Courson said. “To put that in perspective — we’re a fast growth school district — we were expecting about 2%, maybe 2.5.”
If voters approve Lockhart ISD’s $71 million bond, the district will be able to borrow money for projects that will alleviate overcrowding at its schools. The bond does not require a school tax rate increase.
One of the projects the district is hoping to use bond dollars for is to buy land and build a sixth elementary school. Four of the district’s five elementary schools have already exceeded their capacity and are using portable classrooms.
"With our current enrollment and then future growth, the district needs an additional elementary school to house our elementary students,” said Nicole Dean, Lockhart ISD’s chief financial officer.
If the bond passes, Dean expects the new elementary school to be built and ready to open for the 2024-2025 school year.
The other project the bond would fund is an addition to Lockhart High School that could accommodate 500 students.
“We actually already are overcapacity at that campus. We have seven portables at that campus right now,” she said.
Dean said the high school is so crowded that some teachers do not have their own classrooms and use other teachers’ rooms when they’re available.
The main goal of the 2022 bond, according to Dean and Courson, is to address the district’s current capacity issues. Districtwide, Lockhart ISD is at 97% capacity in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.
Even more students are expected to enroll in the district in the years ahead. Future bonds will be focused on keeping pace with that population growth.
“And our goal is to grow with the community as it is projected to grow,” Dean said.
The district anticipates another bond election by 2025 that would seek to, among other things, fund the construction of a seventh elementary school and a second middle school. A third bond expected no later than 2028 includes plans for an eighth elementary school and another high school addition.
The district has one other item on the ballot related to its tax rate.
Early voting ends Friday. Election Day is Tuesday.