What is a bond and why was there an election?
- Homeowners barrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home. A school district barrows money in the form of bonds to finance new schools and renovation projects. Both are repaid over time, but in order for a school district to sell bonds, it must go to the voters for approval. By law, bond funds may not be used to fund daily operating expenses or salaries. Bond funds may only be used for the projects described in the proposal.
Who decided what should be included in Bond 2011?
- The Board of Trustees formed the 2010-11 Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) in the fall 2010. Comprised of 25 community members representing parents, teachers, grandparents, employee association leaders, and elected officials, the FAC looked at enrollment projections, analyzed the current state of District facilities and recommended that the School Board call for a bond election. The Board then worked with administration to prioritize the projects in respect of the District's taxpayers and based on educational impact, equity, and stakeholder input. View the complete information regarding the work of the FAC here.
Is all of the work identified by the FAC being completed in Bond 2011?
- No. The FAC assessment identified over $430 million in new construction and improvements. Bond 2011 will fund $297.4 million in projects prioritized by the FAC, Board and administration. The prioritization of projects was necessary to minimize the impact on taxpayers while addressing the District's major facility needs.
How will Bond 2011 address equity?
- As reported by the Facilities Advisory Committee, the students and staff of SISD enjoy well maintained, equipped and equitable facilities. While older campuses obviously do not have every amenity of the District's newer facilities, all SISD schools are clean, inviting, and structurally sound. To address equality and improve opportunities for students and staff in the District's established campuses, Bond 2011 includes improvements to high school science labs, technology upgrades districtwide, and elementary school air-conditioning.
Who will ensure accountability of the District in ensuring all promises made with Bond 2011 are kept?
- The Bond Accountability Committee (BAC) will be formed to ensure and promote communication and accountability surrounding all elements within Bond 2011. The BAC is an independent citizens committee that will report to the Board of Trustees and the general public. The BAC will be comprised of no more than 14 members selected via an open application process; representing parents, teachers, senior citizens, employee associations, the business community and elected officials. Two (2) members will be appointed by each Trustee upon review of written applications. Once formed, the BAC page will be updated regularly to provide information on the BAC and its activities, including meeting schedule, documents and summaries.
Will the District use local contractors and vendors?
- Yes. The criteria in an RFQ, RFP, CSP or bid package will include criteria for local presence of all proposers or bidders. For purposes of this procedure, local presence means a permanent office in El Paso County with permanent staff present in the El Paso office. The criteria may not be applicable for certain projects if the only companies qualified to perform the projects are not local companies.
Will the work be spread among local contractors and vendors?
- Yes. It is the goal of the District that major projects (being projects over $1,000,000) be spread so that numerous firms shall have the opportunity to provide services and work for the District. Major projects shall not be consolidated so that only a few firms receive the work.
What projects are currently out for bid and where can I get a bid package? What projects have been awarded and to whom?
- All solicitations will be advertised in the El Paso Times and listed on the District's Web site, www.sisd.net. To view purchasing information click on the Doing Business with SISD link on the top of the screen.
What is the status of construction at my school?
- Project information is available on the Projects page of this site. For additional bond information, please contact Chief Communications Officer Daniel R. Escobar at (915) 937-0282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What safety precautions are taken during construction?
- The safety and security of students and staff is the District's number one priority at all times. For projects underway during operating hours, safety/security fencing will be placed around all construction sites and materials to provide a barrier between students and staff and the job site. Contractors are prohibited from interacting with any students and are not permitted to consume alcohol or tobacco on District property. In addition, there is continuous supervision of all workers. Every contractor on site is required to have an identification badge. Work inside operating facilities will be scheduled after hours or during school breaks to avoid interaction between students and contractors. All other state and city regulations are enforced.
Who oversees and is responsible for Bond 2011 projects?
- The District Operations Department is responsible for the day-to-day management of the bond program, such as the development and implementation of project delivery strategies and procurement plans, management of architects, contract administration, and enforcement of quality construction and timely progress. Operations reports directly to the Superintendent and will share status information with the Bond Accountability Committee on a regular basis.
How will Bond 2011 affect my taxes?
- The issuance of the first set of bonds in the fall 2011 will add $.030 per $100 valuation in 2011-12. The maximum impact will be $.066 per $100 valuation. Property taxes for senior citizens are frozen and will not be affected by Bond 2011, as long as they have filed the proper paperwork for an exemption with the El Paso County Appraisal District.