Voting begins for Van Alstyne ISD bond election

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
David Brown

For the past two months Van Alstyne ISD Superintendent David Brown has been giving presentations pushing for the district’s $325 million bond package.  Now the issue in the hands of the voters.  Early voting began April 19.

During his presentations, Brown has emphasized the fact that approving the package will not raise anyone’s property tax rate. That rate will remain the same regardless, and will not go down if the package is defeated.

The bond package was proposed to address current and future growth. There are no less than 14 separate housing developments that fall within Van Alstyne ISD’s boundaries.  The Mantua project alone will add an additional 4,800 homes. Sweetwater Creek will bring 850 more as well, with several others attracting between 100-300 new residences.

“As a district we’ve been reviewing historic and future demographic studies by Templeton Demographics,” Brown said. “We’re continually looking at and assessing our future campus and department needs.”

Currently there are almost 1,800 students enrolled in VAISD schools.  That number is likely understated because it does not account for students who have opted out of the district this year due to COVID-19 concerns.  Enrollment is projected to be nearly 4,300 by the 2030-31 school year.

To address this, Van Alstyne hopes to construct a new high school that will be built in phases.  The first phase would accommodate up to 1000 students, with subsequent phases increasing capacity to 2800 students.  The proposed school would also have new athletic facilities, including a combined soccer and track field that would host a newly created soccer program

If the new high school is built, the current high school would become Van Alstyne Junior High school for seventh and eighth graders. The current middle school building would then be converted to Van Alstyne Intermediate School for grades five and six.  This would reduce capacity at both elementary schools by 18 percent, giving the district more time before it would need to build a third elementary.

Eventually, the district will likely need to build a third and a fourth elementary school.  The bond package would pave the way for that, and set aside an addition 35 acres for a future middle school.