A Closer Look At The New TISD Bond Numbers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/26/04-Tyler

A Closer Look At The New TISD Bond Numbers

"By no means do we want to point out that one plan wasn't good or say that somebody didn't develop a good plan," says TISD Director of Communication, Cody Cunningham.

But ask the public about the last school bond, and you might get a different opinion. Its' 293 million dollar price tag divided many in TISD. Supporters saying schools and children were in desperate need, opposers saying they couldn't support a such a huge lump sum bond they believed lacked proper planning and accurate cost projections.

That's why this time around, school officials say, they came up with a bond that could stand up to public scrutiny.

"The reality is that this is a different plan, there's a different administration here," says Cunningham.

A new administration that came up with a dollar figure of 387 million dollars to bring TISD into the 21st century.

That's almost 100 million more than the last bond. Even split into four parts, it's a number that sends up a red flag with some taxpayers.

But Staubach Project Manager, Jon Vidaurri, says there's a reason the numbers are so different.

"There are a lot of factors that go into the price increasing from three years ago. For example, any piece of construction that has steel in it, or copper, those type of metals, those prices have gone up 50 to 200 percent, and almost every part of the school is built with steel, copper or aluminum. Also, the City of Tyler is under an entirely new set of building codes and requirements," says Vidaurri.

Not to mention the costs left out of the last bond package.

"The road, the sewers, the sanitary sewers, the storm sewers, the fire sprinkler lines, basically all the site development costs associated with a new piece of real estate, was not in the old bond package," says Vidaurri.

Also missing from the last bond, demolition costs.

But TISD wants you to know the extra money will be worth it in the end.

"These buildings will meet the needs. They're going to be 50 to 75 year structures," says Vidaurri.

The Staubach Company also says they have included swing cost in the new bond, which is the cost of transporting and teaching kids at an alternative campus while the others are under construction.

Reporting: Braid Sharp bsharp@kltv.com

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