Bond vote may fund second stadium, Ag center, STEM center

Proposed designs for the second stadium include 14,000 seats, a field house, a banquet room, and enough space to hold playoff games.

Proposed designs for the second stadium include 14,000 seats, a field house, a banquet room, and enough space to hold playoff games.

Voters in Katy ISD will consider accepting a proposed and hotly debated Student Activity Facilities Bond on Tuesday, Nov. 5. If approved, the $99 million bond will fund a second full size stadium, an Agricultural Sciences Center and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Project Center.

Controversy surrounding the bond focuses on the budget for the second stadium, $69.5 million, and the size and scope featured in the designs.

With Tompkins High School adding a varsity-level team during the 2014-15 school year, football games will need to be held weekly on Thursday and Friday nights and twice on Saturdays without a second stadium, district resources concerning the bond said.

“It’s hard to get homework done on Thursday game nights,” junior Cougar Band member Laura Baker said. “We don’t get home till about 11, so a lot of kids stay up until maybe 2 a.m. doing homework.”

Population analysts have predicted the growth rate of Katy ISD to follow that of the last five years, with about two thousand students joining each year. Projected enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is 83,635 students. District officials plan to build two or three more high schools in the next decade, according to a Voters Guide mailed to Katy ISD residents.

Similar concerns about growth back support for the Agricultural Sciences Center, with a budget at $25 million. The Center, if approved, will alleviate parking issues at Leonard Merrell Center and provide safer transportation and housing for FFA animals.

“Katy ISD has a proud and rich history of FFA excellence, and of providing facilities that match students, staff and community commitment,” said the Voters Guide. “However, the district has outgrown L. D. Robinson Pavilion.”

The S.T.E.M. Project Center, with a proposed location adjacent to the Miller Career Center, will provide open areas with high ceilings for projects and provide field trip opportunities to elementary schools in the district if approved.

The CRryptonite Robotics FIRST Team 624 and other robotics teams will use the S.T.E.M Center as a build site. In many of its publications advertising the bond, Katy ISD has included photos and videos of the team working.

Voters will need to present a form of government-issued photo ID at the voting booth. The Cinco Ranch Branch Fort Bend County Library is one of several Cinco Ranch-area election locations.

Taxpayer rates are not likely to increase as a result of the bond, the district said on the official website for the bond.