The first round of new yellow school buses cannot get here soon enough.
School officials confirmed today that over the next five-years, Carroll ISD will replace all of its current buses using proceeds from the 2017 Bond Program. The first 16 yellow school buses are expected to be on the School Board’s November 13 agenda for consideration.
“We are phasing in the purchase of new buses to replace our aging fleet,” said CISD Transportation Director Ranjan George. “The average age of our fleet is over 10 years. The new buses will be equipped with air conditioning, video surveillance cameras and seat belts. We are looking forward to retiring some of our older buses that have been experiencing ongoing maintenance issues.”
Last fall, school officials presented a plan for bus and maintenance vehicle replacement before a Capital Needs Planning Committee (CNPC) made up of local citizens, parents and staff. The plan phases in annual purchases for regular route buses special education buses, activity buses and maintenance vehicles. The CNPC later recommended that the Carroll School Board call a May 2017 bond election. Voters approved $208 million for capital improvements districtwide. Of that total, $7.5 million was earmarked for transportation needs.
“It takes about four to six months from start to finish to order, build and receive delivery of a new school bus,” said Scott Wrehe, Assistant Superintendent for Finance. “The first of two activity buses were approved for purchase at the October 16 School Board meeting, and we plan to bring regular route quotes to the meeting for Board consideration in November.”
A total of 18 buses will be purchased in the first year of the five-year program, including 11 77-passenger buses, two large activity buses for extracurricular program extended trips. three special needs buses and two 47-passenger buses. The plan endorsed by the CNPC includes 15 additional buses annually in years two through four and 11 buses in year five. School officials confirm that at the conclusion of the five-year cycle, the district has a plan to replace buses every 10 years using bond funds. This will ensure that all of the buses won’t need to be retired at the same time going forward.
More than 3,500 students are registered riders in Carroll ISD, that’s up slightly from previous years. Riders pay a fee to ride to and from school and receive a pass. The district currently operates 40 regular routes and seven special needs routes. In addition, more than 1,500 extracurricular trips for athletic, academic and fine arts competitions and field trips are made during the school year, as well as daily shuttle bus routes between Carroll Sr. High and Carroll High Schools.
At least one of the 77-passenger buses slated for consideration November 13 will include an integrated three-point seatbelt system with star seats to provide additional padding and security for preschool field trips. The rest of the buses purchased will include the three-point seatbelt system now required by law.
Although voters approved the bond program in May, school officials had to conduct a bond sale and decide the specifications for the buses, which included waiting to find out if Texas lawmakers would mandate seat belts on buses beginning in September 2017. The legislation passed. and CISD began its work to utilize the state bidding and purchasing cooperative – Buy Board – to purchase the buses. Trustees will take action Nov. 13 and CISD staff hope to have the first of the new buses operational on routes by late spring.
The new legislation requires seat belts on all newly purchased buses after September 1, 2017. School officials say they will assign the new buses with seat belts to routes for the youngest riders and continue to phase in the new buses for secondary students over the life of the bond. Any vehicle with seat belts must be used by the students and school officials say this will require a change for drivers and riders, alike.
After an extensive study of gas, diesel and propane buses, transportation officials are recommending the purchase of gas buses. They require less maintenance and are more efficient than diesel buses for short routes like those used in the 21-square-mile district. Propane buses only get about three miles to the gallon and finding propane on field trips would likely prove difficult for drivers, according to George.
“The diesel activity buses we are purchasing will be for our longer extracurricular trips,” George explained. “These are built to the safety specifications of school buses but look more like a charter bus inside. They do not have restrooms but they will help us avoid some charter bus rental costs for groups like cross country, tennis, band, football, and swimming.”
School officials estimate that the district could have saved $45,000 last year alone if the activity buses had been available. The buses will help transfer operational costs subject to Robin Hood recapture to the debt service budget. That was one of the goals of the CNPC – avoiding operational costs that cost taxpayers the Chapter 41 premium by utilizing bond funds instead.
Information about the Carroll ISD 2017 Bond Program is available on CarrollBudget.com
Carroll ISD voters approved a $208 million bond proposition on Saturday, May 6.
The bond passed 64% (2,406 votes) to 36% (1,370) as 3,776 voters participated in the election. The final voting results from Tarrant County are unofficial until the CISD Trustees canvas the election results at the May 15 Board meeting. This was a single-proposition bond election, and the first bond election for Carroll ISD since 2009.
During early voting, the bond proposition was passing 66% to 34% and included 2,691 voters.
The bond package includes classroom additions for each elementary school, a 700-seat performing arts center for band and choir at Carroll Senior High School and renovations to existing facilities. It also includes maintenance projects district-wide, new school buses and maintenance vehicles, technology infrastructure, teaching tools and student devices, surveillance cameras and key-swipe entry pads, field turf, band instruments and more.
“I’m proud of the work of our committee,” said Superintendent David J. Faltys. “This process started more than two years ago with the work of the Strategic Planning Committee, followed by a facility assessment by the Capital Needs Planning Committee. The vote confirms the work and recommendations put forth by these citizen committees. Our work is just beginning and we look forward to completing projects for our students.”
A citizen Bond Advisory Committee will soon be formed and projects are expected to begin this summer.
The bond election was the culmination of a year-long study by more than 40 citizens and employees who served on the Capital Needs Planning Committee (CNPC) and more than 30 public meetings last fall to gather community input. The CNPC studied 1) capital improvements/building use, 2) technology/instructional programming, 3) maintenance, transportation, safety and security, and 4) extra-curricular/co-curricular facilities.
The list recommended by CNPC includes projects identified at each CISD facility. Details on the work of the CNPC, as well as other topics related to the May Bond Election, are available on CarrollBudget.com.
Voters will head to the polls on Saturday. The Carroll ISD Bond Election and City Election will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Carroll ISD taxpayers will have six different voting locations by precinct number. Precinct numbers can be found on your voter registration cards or by clicking here to find your number and voting location. Be sure to find your precinct number and match the zip code to voting location.
Visit CarrollBudget.com for more information regarding the CISD Bond Election.
The following chart shows the precinct number, voting location and address.
|Precinct #||Saturday Voting Location||Address|
|3558||Bransford Elementary School||601 Glade Road, Colleyville, TX 76034|
|3035, 3038, 3039,
|The REC of Grapevine||1175 Municipal Way, Grapevine, TX 76051|
|3624||Shady Grove Elementary School||1400 Sarah Brooks Drive, Keller, TX 76248|
|3039, 3286, 3359, 3470, 3526, 3529, 3538, 3545, 3558, 3579||Carroll Senior High School
|1501 West Southlake Blvd., Southlake, TX 76092|
|3500||Trophy Club Municipal Building||100 Municipal Drive, Trophy Club, TX 76262|
|3286, 3500||Westlake Town Offices
Solona Office Complex
|3 Village Circle, Westlake, TX 76262|
As families and students enjoy some time off this summer, Carroll ISD is working on facility improvements districtwide to bring in the new 2013-2014 school year. The Carroll Board of Trustees approved the formation of the Bond Advisory Committee, a group of citizens that oversee construction projects from the approved 2009 Bond Program, which was estimated to last approximately four years. The $138 million bond approved by voters in the district was the largest in Carroll ISD history. The completion date for the bond program is set for August 1.
At Carroll Senior High, upperclassmen will notice several changes to the campus when school begins in the fall. At the front entry, the main entrance and office is being reconfigured to enhance safety for all Dragons at the campus. Located in the “100” hallway inside Carroll Senior High’s first floor, educators will notice an expanded lecture room to utilize in the upcoming school year. Science labs are currently being reconfigured to provide a layout that functions properly as a lab and classroom. Also, students will see new storefront doors by the Student Activities Center (SAC).
Inside the Performance Course/Charlie Stalcup Indoor Workout Center, coaches and athletes will enjoy an updated facility including new interior walls and turf, updates to lighting and a sealed roof. The Cross-Country interval track installation will also be completed this summer which will greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries to the runners due to the level surface. On the tennis courts at CSHS, shade structures will be added as well as a resurfacing of the court. Also, drivers will find it easier to navigate when roads are reconfigured and pavements are replaced between the field house and main building of the campus. Lockers will also be added inside Carroll Senior High’s Aquatics Center. Dragons can expect to see the completion of these final developments by the end of summer.
Improvements from the bond program that have already been set in place include work that has changed the blueprint of Carroll schools dramatically. Walnut Grove Elementary School, the newest elementary campus opened its doors in the fall of 2011, allowing more space for an overcrowded Durham Intermediate School. WGES features sustainable technology including natural lighting, geothermal wells for heating/cooling and more updates which allow for local tax dollars to be used more efficiently. Carroll Middle School’s new solar-powered campus also opened for the 2011-2012 school year. Due to its energy saving measures, the district is expected to save approximately 70 percent in utility costs. Both secondary campuses, Carroll Senior High and Carroll High School have seen significant updates in the recent years thanks to the bond program. Included in the improvements are new art buildings at both campuses. Also, Carroll Senior High enjoys a new auxiliary gymnasium, additional locker room and coaches’ offices for tennis, cross country, baseball and softball. Additional parking and facility expansions were implemented at the Aquatics Center. At Carroll High School, an academic wing was added to the south side of the campus along with a new wrestling center/field house. Major technology improvements including wiring and infrastructure have also been added but are less visible to the eye. Not to mention, numerous renovations in entrances and offices across the district to enhance safety. Dragon Stadium wasn’t forgotten about either. Its first expansion project which opened to the public in August of 2010 included 1,600 additional seats, expanded parking, restrooms, concessions, an updated turf and a new technology Disaster Recovery Center.