Nov. 3, 2015
HPISD Bond Election Approved by Voters

Highland Park ISD voters tonight approved a $361.4 million bond proposal that will be used to transform the district's schools during the next five years.

The proposal was approved by HPISD voters by a margin of 55-45 percent. More than 8,200 votes were cast - more than three times the total in the most recent HPISD bond election held in 2008.

The school district will now begin the process of building its first new elementary school in more than 60 years and replacing Bradfield, Hyer and University Park Elementary Schools with new facilities. In addition, renovations and expansions will take place at the district's three other schools: Armstrong Elementary School, McCulloch Intermediate/Highland Park Middle School and Highland Park High School.

The new schools and facility expansion will provide additional classroom space to schools that are already at or above capacity. HPISD's enrollment has grown by 3,000 students during the last 25 years.

"I am grateful to the voters in HPISD for the historic decision they made in this election," said HPISD Board President Joe Taylor. "For 101 years, HPISD has had a proud tradition of excellence in its schools. Tonight, voters overwhelmingly chose to build on that foundation of success for the next 100 years. This bond election isn't just an investment in Highland Park ISD; it is an investment in the future of the Park Cities."

"We sincerely appreciate the confidence that the community has shown in the Board of Trustees' and Facilities Advisory Committee's direction for the future of HPISD," said Dr. Tom Trigg, Superintendent of HPISD. "Voters' willingness to invest in a long-term solution for the district will pay dividends for our students and this community for years to come."

The district will now start the process of selling the bonds followed by seeking proposals from contractors to begin construction and renovation projects at all six of the district's schools. It will also move forward with purchasing property from Northway Christian Church, just south of Northwest Highway, to build a new elementary school. Construction at the site is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 with the goal of being completed in time for the 2017-18 school year.

"The real work now begins," said Dr. Trigg. "As an administration, we are committed to allocating bond funds wisely and judiciously in implementing the goals of this bond program. Our goal is to continue to make this community exceedingly proud of its schools."

In addition to thanking voters, Board President Taylor expressed his appreciation for the district's Facilities Advisory Committee, which spent more than a year reviewing information, having discussions and finally making its sweeping recommendations.

"The work by this committee of dedicated HPISD parents, grandparents and alumni was absolutely paramount to tonight's election result," said Taylor. "They asked tough questions along the way and ultimately came up with a visionary plan for this school district. Each one of this 21-member committee is owed a debt of gratitude for the extraordinary commitment to the students in our community."

Dr. Trigg noted that the support for the bond election came from a broad spectrum of community leaders.

"The hallmark of any community is the strength of its schools and good leaders understand and recognize that," said Dr. Trigg. "The combination of the leadership of our board of trustees, the district's Facilities Advisory Committee, along with current and former leaders of both the City of University Park and the Town of Highland Park, created a very powerful coalition. Working together, they made a strong statement about the importance of this election."

In addition to rebuilding Bradfield, Hyer and University Park Elementary Schools, the bonds will be used to add 48 classrooms to Highland Park High School, 46 classrooms to McCulloch Intermediate/Highland Park Middle School and an addition to the east side of Armstrong Elementary School, as well as interior renovations, technology upgrades and life cycle improvements.