Southwest ISD voters consider $250M bonds for safety upgrades, renovations, new schools

SAN ANTONIO – Voters in the Southwest Independent School District are considering a pair of bond packages worth nearly as much as the district’s last three combined.

The two bond propositions on the May 6 ballot total $250 million and would include money for the following:

  • Safety upgrades to all of its campuses
  • New schools and additions to cope with an expected flood of new students
  • Renovations to other campuses
  • A high school athletic stadium
  • The purchase of air-conditioned buses
  • A combined professional development, student center, and central offices building

Voters previously approved a $22 million bond package in 2008, a $165 million package in 2012, and a $75 million package in 2018.

While the current bond proposals would raise the school district’s property tax rate, district officials say other factors could offset how much property owners have to pay at the end of the year.

“Renovating and modernizing our campuses is very important to us. But the number one priority of this bond is a safety investment at the highest level at all of our campuses. We want all of our students to walk into a campus, a safe learning environment,” said district spokeswoman Jenny Collier.

Southwest ISD's summary of its May 6 bond proposals (Southwest ISD)

The security upgrades would include security film on windows, new door hardware, higher fences and surveillance cameras.

The safety aspects are what convinced SWISD voter Alex Gonzalez to support the bond.

“With everything going on in the country, it’s necessary, you know? They want to make it in a nice way, where it doesn’t look too much like a prison,” he told KSAT.

The district’s expected growth, several thousand additional students within the next decade, also plays a big part in the bond projects.

“This side of town is really just exploding,” Collier said.

The bond would cover the cost of building two new elementary schools, and there is money to add a new choir hall, 24 new classrooms, and an ROTC classroom and training facility at Southwest Legacy High School. Bob Hope Elementary School would get 12 new classrooms and more cafeteria capacity.

There’s also an estimated $25 million for a combined professional training center, student central, and district offices, though the exact plans for the center haven’t been made yet.

Renovations to the Southwest High School stadium are listed in their own bond proposition because of state law. While the field is good, Collier said, the stadium’s amenities need modernization to match those at the newer Southwest Legacy High School.

The bond proposal also includes money to purchase new air-conditioned buses.

District officials say the property tax rate would need to go up by 1 cent for every $100 of valuation, which would equate to an extra $15 a year for someone with a home with a taxable value of $150,000.

However, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Brian Crisp said that’s the same amount the district lowered its tax rate last year, anticipating that it would need to raise the rate to pay for this bond.

And with the state legislature considering ways to cut into school property tax revenues, Crisp thinks legislators in Austin “are passing some legislation this next fiscal year that’s more than likely going to make this cost neutral.”


Southwest ISD voters will likely have to visit two polling locations if they also plan to vote in San Antonio or Von Ormy’s local elections, especially if they’re voting early.

The district holds stand alone elections, Crisp said. Voters must go specifically to one of the district’s polling locations to vote on either the bond or the at-large board positions.

SWISD’s two early voting locations are entirely separate from the other Bexar County early voting locations. However, Crisp said at least two of the district’s six designated election day polling sites overlap with the county’s combined polling locations: Sky Harbour Elementary and Bob Hope Elementary.

The voting locations for Southwest ISD are below:

Early Voting

  • SWISD Central Office - 11914 Dragon Ln, San Antonio, TX 78252
  • McAuliffe Middle School - 9390 SW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78242

Election Day

  • SWISD Central Office - 11914 Dragon Ln, San Antonio, TX 78252
  • Big Country Elementary - 2250 Pue Rd, San Antonio, TX 78245
  • Bob Hope Elementary - 3022 Reforma Dr, San Antonio, TX 78211
  • McAuliffe Middle School - 9390 SW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78242
  • Sky Harbour Elementary - 5902 Fishers Bend St, San Antonio, TX 78242
  • Lytle City Hall - 14916 Main St, Lytle, TX 78052

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.