Officials with a small Amarillo-area school district are asking voters to approve a $94.3 million bond this May.

Bushland Independent School District trustees voted earlier this month to place the record bond on the ballot for the upcoming May 1 election. According to a website for the bond election, the projects that would be completed if the proposal is passed would include the construction of a new elementary school, a new high school, and renovations to existing high school and middle school facilities.

Officials say under the passage of the bond, taxpayers could expect to pay as much as $625.68 more per year in school property taxes on an average $300,000 home in the district.

If passed, $94.3 million in new debt would be added to taxpayers’ tabs, to be repaid with interest from property tax revenues.

Bushland ISD, which includes part of the west Amarillo-area Potter and Randall counties in the Panhandle, presently serves around 1,441 students, according to numbers released as of October 2020.

This is not the first bond Bushland ISD voters have been asked to approve in recent years. Since 2002, the district has placed six bond elections on the ballot, successfully passing $34,835,000 in bonds. However, the 2021 bond will be the largest one placed on the ballot so far, according to the Texas Bond Review Board.

For Fiscal Year 2020, Bushland ISD reported $15,915,000 in outstanding bond debt remaining from previous bond elections, according to the Texas Bond Review Board.

For more information about the bond election, visit the bond website here.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.