Austin, TX, 78738, USA

Evidence of Wants not Needs

On their own 2022 Bond Facebook Page, Committee Members were asked a simple question: aside from the High School options, what was requested but not approved by the Committee in the Bond Package?

From data published by the District, it appeared that nothing had been cut. Hard choices of what to prioritize were not made – everything from the $900,000 Baseball Concession Stand to the $500,000 miscellaneous door hardware to $3.5 Million for technology replacements for a brand new middle school.  Everything seemed to be included.

For reasons unknown, the Committee Members would not confirm or deny that perception.

So a FOIA request was submitted to the District, wasting their time on a request for information that a Committee Member could have easily addressed.

The FOIA reply confirmed that fact that the entire request list was approved. So Wants not Needs is what is represented in the bond. But the FOIA also provided the hard evidence. It gave data about what was ranked by the District Administration as to Priority 2 and 3. The details below provide this new insight. 

It seems like even the Administration knew that providing shade structures to protect our kids from the very few days where we actually have rain was not that high of a need compared to some other items. We could debate about whether a hard enough look was taken to prioritize, but for now, it does confirm that everything was approved and that at least $30 Million could have been cut from the taxpayer ask without giving up that much.

Priority 2 Items

All Priority 2 items were included in the Bond, which included:
– $9.7 Million of the $36.9 Million in Facilities Conditions Assessment
– $5 Million in Millwork
– $3.9 Million in Restrooms and General Storage
– $2.1 Million in additional Mechanic Bays with Pit
– $1.7 Million in Technology
– $1.2 Million in Outdoor Golf hitting bays and putting green

These items are found in all 3 propositions.

Priority 3 Items

Nineteen Priority items totalling $1.9M were included in Propositions A and B:

– $979,200 in custodial storage room and grade level storage
– $770,000 in shade structures
– $198,000 in campus technology