Will schools actually benefit from the 2017 Bond?

Sources tell us that, despite a $367 million Clear Creek ISD bond passed in 2013, several schools at the end of the schedule didn’t get the promised upgrades. Sure, CCISD claims all projects were completed. But if that’s the case, why did Armand Bayou Elementary, Hall Elementary, Landolt Elementary, and League City Elementary wind up on the list for upgrades in the 2017 CCISD Bond?

The answer to this question may lie in a recent Board of Trustees meeting. Deputy Superintendent of Business and Support Services Paul McLarty came in with his tail tucked between his legs on Action Item 13(C) on May 20, 2019:

Bonds 2017 included funding of $8,110,333 for Access Control, Intrusion Detection and Surveillance Camera Project. Based upon the estimated cost of the project, additional funding from Bonds 2017 Savings and Interest will be needed to complete the project. … Bonds 2017 Savings and Interest of $10,588,776.00 is requested to fund GMP Amendment #2 and the Phase 2 Technology portion of the Districtwide Security Upgrades project that will be presented as GMP Amendment #3 in September 2019.

Wait, what? Mr. McLarty had to request another $2.4 million dollars?

According to his presentation at the May CCISD Board of Trustees meeting, the budget estimate was insufficient, so he needs additional funding. To her credit, Trustee Dr. Laura DuPont did ask Mr. McLarty if any lessons were learned and if those lessons would be applied to future projects.

Mr. McLarty said this was an issue where they could have done better – and didn’t. (Basically, it sounds like he got lazy.) He blamed the problem in 2013 on inflation. The Board of Trustees did examine whether CCISD could afford to approve Mr. McLarty’s request, and ultimately, they voted unanimously to approve it. How can you not approve school security upgrades in this day and age?!

But the questions are still there. Did Mr. McLarty actually learn from this mistake? Will future budget and bond items also need additional funding? Will the schools that are last to be slated for upgrades actually get their promised upgrades? Only time will tell. But from what happened with the last bond, we say it’s unlikely.

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