A year later, District’s bond program on track and under budget
Key expenditures benefitting student programs and services
While the expansion of Hudson Bend Middle School progresses as planned—and with more construction to come in 2013 as part of the voter-approved Lake Travis Independent School District bond referendum last November, it’s the ‘softer’ side of the multi-million dollar program that already has had a substantial impact on student programs and services.
The $158.5 million bond—the District’s largest issue to date—also includes construction of a new Lake Travis Middle School and Elementary School No. 6; expansion of Lake Travis High School into the current Lake Travis Middle School campus; upgrades for existing facilities; and improvements district-wide. Additionally, comprising the package is the purchase of instructional resources and materials, including technology.
“People tend to relate best to the bricks-and-mortar portion of bond packages,” said Dr. Brad Lancaster, LTISD Superintendent. “And rightly so. The majority of funds in most bonds are set aside for construction. However, while the (bond) money may not be used to fund daily operating costs such as teacher salaries, utilities and fuel, it is becoming more and more common to buy things like buses, technology, and instructional materials with bond dollars."
As of August 31, 2012, proceeds from the District’s current bond have purchased more than $2.2 million in technology devices for students, instructional computers, interactive SMART boards and document cameras for classrooms, and servers and cabling across the District. Expenses also include more than $150,000 in library books, band and orchestra instruments, and uniforms for various band and athletics programs at Hudson Bend and Lake Travis middle schools and at Lake Travis High School.
“It certainly helps parent fund-raising morale,” said Kenny Vise, Lake Travis High School band director. “We know the school district and community are taking care of our need for instruments, so we can focus on things like travel and props and extra things to enrich the kids’ performance opportunities.”
District officials have also purchased seven regular route buses and one special needs bus at a cost of approximately $820,000.
“While it’s been a year since the bond was approved and things are moving forward as planned, we’re still relatively early in the process,” added Dr. Lancaster. “Additional purchases for instructional materials, including technology, will continue to be made, while the bulk of construction will take place in 2013. Overall, the bond money is going to where the voters wanted it to be allotted.”
Hudson Bend Middle School
Shortly after the bond referendum received approval, LTISD trustees awarded a contract for architectural and engineering services to Austin-based Fields & Associates for the design of the Hudson Bend Middle School expansion. In January 2012, trustees selected the firm of Baird/Williams Construction, Ltd. from Temple to serve as the project’s Construction Manager At-Risk, a method that requires a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price.
To meet the proposed schedule for increasing the school’s capacity from 900 to 1,200 students, the HBMS project will be constructed in two phases. The classroom addition phase, which broke ground in June 2012, will add 26 teaching stations to the overall site and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013. The second phase of construction will include the expansion of core facilities and is scheduled for completion in early 2014. Overall, the two phases will add 79,000 square feet to the school’s total footprint. According to bond documents, the total budget for the HBMS Expansion project is estimated at $22.2 million. For project renderings and other information on the Hudson Bend Middle School Expansion, click here.
New Lake Travis Middle School
Also in November 2011, trustees selected Fields and Associates Architects to design the $53.7 million New Lake Travis Middle School which will be located on Bee Creek Road just off Highway 71. Trustees are expected to award a construction contract for the project at their regular school board meeting in December. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2013. For project renderings and other information on the New Lake Travis Middle School, click here.
Additionally, last November trustees awarded a contract to Austin-based Pfluger Associates Architects for the design of Elementary School No. 6. The new school will be located on Cypress Ranch Boulevard inside the West Cypress Hills subdivision off Highway 71. Trustees are expected to award a construction contract for the $25 million project in February 2013, with work commencing in March. For project renderings and other information on Elementary School No. 6, click here.
In November 2012, trustees awarded a construction contract to Austin‐based AGConstruction Management for site improvement work at Lake Travis High School. The $1.4 million project includes resurfacing the main LTHS parking lots and Cavalier Drive, from the main stadium up to the top of the hill. Also included is a new concrete sidewalk from the Cavalier Activity Center to the top of thehill. Additional work includes the terracing of erosion areas at the Cavalier Activity Center, the baseball field and the tennis courts, as well as the installation of an irrigation well and irrigation systems at Lake Travis High School and the LTISD administration building. All work, which began November 27, will be done in phases and is expected to be substantially complete by Spring Break 2013. Additionally, once the new Lake Travis Middle School opens in the fall of 2014, expansion of Lake Travis High School into the current Lake Travis Middle School site at Ranch Road 620 and Cavalier Drive will begin. Fort Worth-based Huckabee Architects will design the project.
Existing Elementary Schools
“This bond allows us to accommodate the continued increase in student enrollment inour District, and we are committed to ensuring that all projects are well-built and completed in a timely and fiscally responsible manner,” concluded Dr.Lancaster.
For a listing of all bond expenditures to date, click here.