Cleveland ISD’s board of trustees on Monday voted in favor of a $150 million bond referendum that will be decided by voters in the Nov. 2 general election. If approved, the zero tax-rate increase bond will fund a new high school in the Grand San Jacinto community south of Plum Grove.
“We will hold at the same tax rate of 37.5 cents per $100 valuation for our capital project tax base,” said Superintendent Chris Trotter.
As the fastest-growing school district in the state of Texas, Cleveland ISD’s enrollment numbers continue to push facilities to capacity almost as soon as new campuses are built. Currently, four new campuses are under construction within the District – Pine Burr Elementary, Elementary No. 6 and Middle School No. 2, all within the Colony Ridge communities south of Plum Grove, and Northside Elementary in Cleveland.
“We are growing at a minimum of 1,200 students per year now,” Trotter told Bluebonnet News in an article in June. “At the end of the last school year, we had a total of 9,158 students, up from the 8,000 students we had at the beginning of the school year.”
The proposed new high school will be located on Grand San Jacinto Boulevard, directly across from Elementary No. 6 and Middle School No. 2, and will have its own mascot, colors and traditions. The campus will be slightly bigger than Cleveland High School – capable of accommodating between 2,500 to 2,800 students.
“If voters approve the bond, we will build adequate but modest extracurricular areas. It will have its own baseball field, softball field, 4-6-lane track and a sub-varsity athletics facility for soccer and football,” said Trotter.
Cleveland High School and the new high school will share use of Indian Stadium during football season. Trotter said the goal will be for teams to alternate their home and away games when possible and have a Thursday or Saturday night game when home game schedules coincide.
While the District is not raising its tax rate, rising valuations could still cause taxes to go higher. Those valuations are set by the Liberty County Appraisal District, not the school district.
In the coming months, Cleveland ISD’s board of trustees and administrators will be hosting town hall meetings and Facebook live shows to help answer any questions that residents may have. They also will be appearing before community organizations and groups. Trotter will be sharing information about the bond as guest speaker for the Aug. 2 luncheon for the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce.
A schedule of those town hall meetings will be posted as soon as that information becomes available.