On March 3, 2001, RISD will seek voter approval of two bonds. Proposition #1 for $351,670,000 includes:

  • Facilities Renewal = $124,900,000

Our buildings average 31 years old; 11 are over 40. They need heating, cooling, plumbing, foundation, and roof renovations.

  • Land and New Schools = $120,000,000

Land and construction for two new schools in Lake Highlands, and money for more land purchases.

  • Instruction and Technology = $106,770,000

Other line items (in millions) include:

  • Science Labs and Equipment, $17.8
  • Technology, New and Refresh Cycles, $45.4
  • Fine arts, $19.5
  • Art, Language, Math, Social Studies, Libraries, Athletics and PE, $24.1

Proposition #2 for $18,805,000, exchanges current debt that’s repaid out of our operating fund for dept that is repaid through the debt service fund. This move saves the district $5.2 million in Robin Hood state recapture expense.

How much will this cost me?

Taxes on a $100,000 home will increase less than $8 per month over the next five years. Our debt service tax rate will rise from $0.1802 per $100 valuation, to a high of $0.32, or an increase of $0.14. The $0.32 rate will be in effect for only two years, 2005 and 2006, and then it starts dropping.

How accurate are these projections?

They’re very accurate and conservative. We prefer to err on the low side rather than fail to fulfill our promises to you.

How did you guys do on the 1996 bond?

We promised a tax rate high of $0.198 per $100 valuation. Our actual peak was $0.1802, about 9 percent below projections.

I’m 65…how will this sale impact me?

These bonds will have no effect on your tax rate if you were 65 prior to Jan. 1, 2001, as long as your property continues to be your homestead.

Who decided what this bond package would include?

First, we engaged Vanderweil Facilities Advisors to evaluate all our buildings. Then we received input from principals and staff. Next we polled the community three ways – through our Survey of Attitudes, the Community Budget Advisors, and finally the Bond 2001 Community Planning Commission. Along the way, RISD staff and Trustees kept pruning. It’s taken a year, but this is the best-planned bond ever.

What happens if this bond doesn’t pass?

Roofs and plumbing will leak, state-mandated instructional materials won’t exist, fine arts facilities won’t expand, and schools will become more crowded.

Where can I get more information?

Call the RISD hotline, 469-593-VOTE, and leave a question, or visit our web site at www.risd.org/bond.