Dripping Springs Residents Pass $132 Million School Bond

May 1, 2018

This post has been updated. 

Dripping Springs voters on Saturday passed the $132 million school bond.

Voters in Wimberley also passed a $45 million school bond package, and elected Susan Jaggers as their next mayor. Residents elected Craig Fore, Gary Barchfeld and Patricia Cantu Kelly to City Council.

Other highlights from local elections over the weekend:

  • Cedar Park elected Corbin Van Arsdale as its new mayor and voted in three new City Council members: Mel Kirkland, Michael Guevara and Dorian Chavez.
  • Bee Cave elected Monty Parker as its new mayor and voted in two City Council members: Bill Goodwin and Jon Cobb.
  • Lakeway elected Sandy Cox as its new mayor and two Council members: Steve Smith and Keith Trecker.
  • Round Rock voted in two Council members: Matt Baker and Writ Baese.
  • Georgetown re-elected Anna Eby to City Council.

Bastrop elected Drusilla Rogers to City Council.

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Our original post follows: 

Dripping Springs voters go to the polls Saturday to decide whether to approve a $132 million bond for the school district. If passed, the district would use the money to catch up with current needs and plan for future growth.

Dripping Springs has nearly doubled its population since the 2010, according to the latest census. That boom has the Dripping Springs School District growing, too.

“We are growing somewhere between 6 and 7 percent in our student body every year,” Superintendent Bruce Gearing said. “So, our current capacity in the school district is for 7,350 students, and we’ll reach that capacity by 2020. At the high school, for sure, our capacity is 1,850. We have 1,845 students there today.”

By 2020, he said, the high school will be 20 percent over its capacity. At the elementary school level, the district will exceed current capacity sometime next school year or the next.

Consequently, the district is hoping to use the $132 million for four big projects: renovating and additions to the high school, building two new elementary schools, and refurbishing Walnut Springs Elementary into the district headquarters. One of the new elementary schools would then become the "new" Walnut Springs school.

Gearing said the district will not have to increase the tax rate to pay for the bond. In a way, he said, the area's growth will pay for itself with larger tax rolls

“Our tax roll is growing because of two things," he said. "Number one, new construction in the district, both in terms of rooftops and commercial properties that are developing, and also appraisal value increases on existing properties."

This is the largest bond proposed to voters by the district.

Voters will also be determining some school board seats Saturday. Five candidates are running for three seats. Three of the candidates are incumbent trustees who all support the bond. The other two candidates oppose the bond over the closure and relocation of the elementary school; they also argue the current plan does not do enough to help with the town's rate of growth. Top three vote-getters will win seats on the board.

Early voting ends Tuesday.