2023 Bond Committee Presents Recommendations to School Board

Bond Committee 2023

  • July 24, 2023

    Ector County ISD Trustees held a special workshop to discuss the recommendations brought to them by the 2023 Bond Committee. After discussing the committee’s work and asking their own questions, the school board decided to schedule four town hall meetings in the coming weeks to get additional input from the community. Below are the recommendations the Board of Trustees are considering for a bond proposal (or proposals) in the fall.

    The first priority of the bond committee was NO tax rate increase. Through good financial stewardship, ECISD officials anticipate the district can take on an additional $427 million of bonds without having to increase the tax rate. Since 2020, ECISD has made a series of early payments on existing bonds, payments that have saved taxpayers $27 million in future interest payments. The district’s bond rating has been upgraded which will mean better interest rates on future bonds. And ECISD has earned a perfect score (A+) on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) from the Texas Education Agency for three years in a row. By paying off debt early, ECISD has created the capacity to absorb new bonds without increasing the tax rate.


    1. Build a state-of-the-art Career & Technical Education Center ($80 million)

    Home campus for 400 full-time students

    CTE campus for 2,000 students from NTO, OHS, PHS

    Partnership with Odessa College for dual credit, certification, degrees and adult workforce training

    Permian Strategic Partnership has pledged financial support, if approved by voters

    Moving existing CTE students out of NTO creates space for an NTO middle school Choice program for 400-500 students


    1. Build a new middle school ($120 million)

    170,000 square feet to serve approximately 1,000 students

    Projected cost includes furniture, fixtures and equipment

    ECISD has 6 middle schools all located inside Loop 338 while areas of fastest student growth are in the northeast and west parts of Ector County

    Ector MS has worst Facility Index Score in ECISD

    Bonham MS has second-worst Facility Index Score in ECISD

    Wilson & Young MS is at 99% utilization today

    Nimitz MS is at 96% utilization today


    1. Priority 1 maintenance and repairs ($48.4 million)

    These are “Must do” projects within the next 1-2 years

    They are legal, life safety and/or critical replacements or program musts, such as fire alarm systems or replacing the above ground sanitary waste and vent system throughout an aging school/building.


    1. Priority 2 maintenance and repairs ($72.7 million)

    These are “Should do” projects within the next 3-5 years

    These are necessary system repairs and replacements and/or curricular, instructional or program needs. This could be replacing the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) units  and lined duct throughout a school/building or replacing electrical transformers and panels throughout a school/building. 


    1. Transportation Department needs ($37.45 million) Bus purchases (yellow and charter) and new Transportation facility $35 million


    1. Technology Department needs ($23.5 million) Telecommunication (phone) system $2.5 million; Safety: PA/Bell/Clock system replacement $10,000,000; Safety: Surveillance refresh and additional equipment $6 million; classroom interactive flat panels $3.5 million; large group instructional area audio/visual $1.5 million


    1. Fine Arts needs ($18.5 million) renovation of Permian HS auditorium $12.5 million; replace outdated instruments $3.5 million; performance risers for all middle school choirs $150,000; classroom instruments for elementary campuses $165,000; uniforms for middle school bands and mariachi $690,000; JROTC facility needs $1.5 million


    1. Transition Learning Center ($8 million) Located on the campus of Odessa HS, the Transition Learning Center assists students with special needs who are 18+ transition from school to the workforce with life skills training. This would completely replace the existing building


    1. Athletics ($11.1 million)
      1. Campus needs: OHS and PHS LED lights at baseball complexes $800,000; OHS LED lighting at tennis courts $250,000; OHS indoor practice facility $3.5 million; PHS new artificial turf for indoor practice facility $250,000; resurface tennis courts at all middle schools $480,000; indoor bleacher replacement in main middle school gyms $1 million
      2. Ratliff Stadium complex needs: stadium bleacher concrete overlay $2.5 million; update restroom $250,000; artificial turf on last remaining grass playing field $1.5 million; south building complex air conditioning/heating installation $100,000; LED lighting at track & field venue $70,000; LED lighting for stadium parking lot $400,000


    1. Agriculture Farm ($7.5 million) complete replacement of classroom buildings and barns.


    All of these items total $427,155,000.



    June 13, 2023

    Members of the 2023 Bond Committee presented its recommendations to the school board. The presentation was given by Ronnie Neal, history department chairperson at Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School; Priscilla Hernandez, art teacher at Crockett Middle School; and Kevin Camacho, a rising senior at OCTECHS. They explained the charge given to them as member of the bond committee, the tools and resources they studied over period from January to May; the processes they used to discuss the information with other members of the bond committee, ask questions of the experts and presenters, and finally reach a consensus on a series of potential bond projects to take to the school board. Those recommendations are:

    1. Keep the bond project costs under the “No Tax Rate Increase” threshold of about $396 million.
    2. Build a state-of-the-art Career and Technical Education Center at a projected cost of $80 million
    3. Build a new middle school at a project cost of $120 million
    4. Address all Priority 1 maintenance items identified in the updated Facilities Assessment Study. These are legal, life safety and/or critical replacements considered “must-do” in the next 1-to-2 years. Projected cost $51 million.
    5. Address all Priority 2 maintenance items identified in the updated Facilities Assessment Study. These are necessary system repair and replacements considered “should-do” in the next 3-to-5 years. Projected cost $79 million.
    6. With the remaining available dollars, address department needs in the committee’s priority order, which was determined through a survey of committee members. That priority order is:
      1. Transportation Department needs
      2. Technology Department needs
      3. Fine Arts Department needs
      4. Transition Learning Center needs
      5. Athletics Department needs
      6. Agriculture Farm needs

    Trustees thanked the three presenters and those committee members in attendance at the meeting for volunteering their time and energy to this task. They called these needs critical to our school district, and community’s, future. The school board will take the next couple of months to review these recommendations and talk with constituents about them before potentially voting in August to create a formal bond proposal.


    On January 26, 2023, a bond committee of more than 100 people began a comprehensive look at all of ECISD’s facility and program needs, with the ultimate charge to evaluate those needs, establish priorities for future renovation/construction, and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees to consider.

    This bond committee is a strong, diverse group of people. To ensure the committee has representation from all areas of Odessa and Ector County, the committee is made up of 1 parent (non-employee) from each school; 1 staff member from each school; 21 community members (3 appointed by each of the 7 Trustees); 10 students; and 11 central administration representatives.

    The committee is scheduled to meet through the end of the school year in May, and present its recommendations the school board in June. The schedule of meetings is listed on our calendar here. All meetings will take place at G.H.W.B. New Tech Odessa. The earliest date Trustees could call for a bond election is November 2023.   

    This webpage will serve as a hub of information regarding the committee’s discussions. After each meeting the reports and information reviewed will be posted here. A Questions & Answers document will also be included on this page, as will related media coverage.

    The last successful bond election came in 2012 when voters approved the construction of three new elementary schools (Buice, Downing and West), and the expansion of Odessa High School and Permian High School to accommodate freshmen on campus. You will find a recent history of ECISD bond and tax elections on this page.

    Connect with us: If you have questions about these bond discussions, you can send them to CommunicationsDept@ectorcountyisd.org.

2023 Bond Committee Meeting Schedule

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