MCKINNEY, Texas – Taxpayers in North Texas’ McKinney Independent School District just approved a $220 million bond issue that includes $50 million for a new 12,000-seat football stadium.
The school district about 20 miles north of Dallas built a 7,000 seat stadium in 1962, when the district had only one high school, but has since grown to three high schools and more than 24,500 students, the Associated Press reports.
On Saturday, voters approved a massive $220 million bond issue that includes $50 million to build a new 12,000-seat stadium, as well as a conference area for teacher training and other events.
More than $11 million left over from a previous bond will also go toward preparation and other infrastructure upgrades to ready the site for construction, according to the news site.
“The MISD 2016 Bond passed on Saturday, May 7, with 62% of voters supporting the measure,” McKinney ISD posted to its website. “The students and staff of MISD would like to thank the 11,114 people who cast votes in this important election.”
The move actually reduced the previous tax rate on local homeowners because of higher than anticipated property value growth and savings from refinancing other bonds.
“The proposed bond package will allow for a decrease in the tax rate by 4.5 cents (up from the previously estimated 2 cent decrease), which equates to a property tax decrease of approximately $121 a year for an average residential home in MISD valued at $271,150,” according to the school website.
The districtwide stadium, which will be used by all three of the city’s high schools, is the third biggest ticket item on the list of program projects included in the 2016 bond.
Comprehensive upgrades to heating, roof, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as new equipment and furniture, and digital marquees, are slated to cost $62.5 million. District officials plan to spend $51.4 million on additions and renovations of several school buildings, $35 million on technology upgrades, $9.6 million on transportation and maintenance projects, $4 million on land purchases, and $700,000 on “Elementary #22 Planning.”
District superintendent Rick McDaniel and other school officials patted themselves on the back after the bond was approved.
“We’re visionaries,” McDaniel said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “And we believe we have a vision for McKinney ISD that will propel us forward for a long time.”
Mike Giles, leader of the anti-bond Grassroots McKinney, told the news site the group is “disappointed” the massive bond passed, but acknowledged that “the people have spoken.”
Giles said the group will now focus on voting out the elected school board that approved the new stadium, which he called an “embarrassment.”
Several folks who commented about the new facility online seem to agree with Giles.
“Amazing what school districts will spend on athletic facilities and what they won’t spend on students, curriculum, materials, equipment, technology and teacher/staff salaries,” TheyHateMe2 posted to the News comments. “On one hand I kinda see why some people want a new stadium in McKinney as they haven’t had one built in 54 years. But everyone knows this is just an attempt by McKinney ISD to try and keep up with the Joneses ….”
“We need to replace the idiots on the school board with a board that has some common sense,” [email protected] wrote. “A 12,000-seat stadium for an average attendance of 3,500 is ridiculous. It’s all about the egos of the idiots on the board. Visionaries my a**.”
“Texans have gone crazy on football stadiums, but who cares if their kid are among the dumbest in the world,” HenryParker added.
“What a waste of taxpayer dollars! Just wondering, did we ever fill the old stadium to capacity?” HaroldJunior questioned. “It’s so easy to call yourself a ‘visionary’ with someone else’s money Mr. Superintendent.”