NISD: Survey for bond issues available

Published 6:08 pm Friday, January 11, 2019

By Chris Moore


UPDATE: The survey for the Nederland Independent School District potential is live. you can take the survey by clicking the link.


NEDERLAND — Nederland residents will soon get calls to participate in a survey regarding potential bond issues for the school district.

The Citizens Advisory Committee spent three hours Thursday hammering out details of the community survey. Members meticulously combed through each of the 17 questions, making sure each word matched the committee’s liking.

Nederland Independent School District hired Robert Nicks as a consultant to lead the committee through the process of deciding what projects be included in any potential bond issues. At the outset, the committee was scheduled to meet six times before the school board selects projects for the May bond election.

During the December meeting, committee members were given estimates from an architectural firm for renovations or complete rebuilds of each of the system’s seven campuses.

After nearly four hours of discussions and voting, the committee agreed on a survey that included seeing if residents would support construction of a new high school to replace Nederland High School, which would cost $82.7 million, as well as renovations to the remaining campuses. The firm said the cost of renovating all of the other campuses would be about $60.2 million.

Committee members overwhelmingly voted to change the survey to give residents a chance to choose between a new high school or four new elementary schools at $90 million or neither.

Committee members said the original version of the survey, which only had the option to rebuild the high school, ended all possibilities for new buildings if survey takers believed the new high school was too pricey.

Nicks said he equates the process the committee is undertaking to “making sausage.”

“The end product is always a lot better looking than the process,” he said. “When you get a committee together that is completely representative of the community, you’re going to have diverse viewpoints. You go through a process of identifying not only projects that are consistent with the needs of the district, but also what the committee members feel would be appropriate for the district.”

Nicks said a clear vote shows the committee supports the survey questions.

“The projects that were identified by the committee had overwhelming support from the members,” he said.

Nicks said the next step is to get the survey to Nederland residents to determine what projects voters might support. The survey will be offered by phone or on the web.

Nederland residents “can anticipate a phone call from out of the area that will be asking the opinions of registered voters in Nederland ISD,” Nicks said. “At the same time, we will be able to provide the URL address to the survey if they wish to participate in that form.”

The first two questions of the survey inquire about the survey takers’ voting experience and if they have children or grandchildren currently enrolled in a NISD school.

The second set of questions (seven questions) is designed to gauge the survey takers’ knowledge district, tax rates and studies provided to the committee.

The third set of questions (eight questions) asks voters whether they would support numerous projects selected by the committee. Costs for each project are also listed on the survey.

The final questions involve age and gender of the voter and how long they’ve lived in Nederland.

Visit for the full survey.



For the web edition:


  1. Are you registered to vote and reside in the Nederland school district?


  1. Thinking about local elections for a moment – would you say that you vote in all, most, only some, very few, or none of the local elections dealing with bond issues and other local elections? All Most Only Some Very Few (thank and terminate) None (thank and terminate)


  1. Do you have any children or grandchildren who currently attend a Nederland ISD school? Yes No (Refused to answer) The following questions are designed to assess your current understanding of Nederland ISD and perceptions of issues associated with a potential bond issue.


  1. Are you aware that a Citizens Advisory Committee was created from a cross representation of citizens and that the committee has met 5 times to review facility and equipment needs identified by the district? ____ yes ____ no


  1. Are you aware that Nederland ISD has one of the lowest school tax rates of more than 30 school districts in southeast Texas? ____ yes ____ no


  1. Are you aware that Nederland ISD is projected to add 480 new students in the next 5 years? ____yes ____no


  1. Are you aware that school taxes are frozen for individual home owners, 65 years of age or older, who have a Homestead Exemption in Nederland ISD, and will not have a tax increase if a school bond issue is passed? ____ yes ____ no 2


  1. Are you aware that the newest campus built in Nederland ISD was in 1971 and that the ages of campuses range from 47 to 80 years old? ______ yes ______ no


  1. Are you aware that the high school was originally built as an “open school concept” campus, which is not consistent with modern high school design and education? ______yes ______no


  1. Are you aware that Nederland ISD elementary grade levels are structured differently than most elementary schools in Texas in that most elementary schools include 5th grade? ______ yes ______ no


Please consider the following tax information as you respond to the survey questions. If all projects listed are approved, the school tax rate would increase from $1.15 to $1.53. The tax increase for a home valued at $100 thousand dollars, after exemptions, would be approximately $380 dollars per year or $31 dollars and 66 cents per month. Recognizing that the Citizens Advisory Committee and school district are emphasizing facilities that support classroom instruction, please respond to the following questions concerning facility and equipment projects being considered for a May 2019 bond issue:


  1. The school district’s bond capacity will not allow both a new high school and new elementary campuses. Please indicate your support for either a new high school at the existing site for a total approximate cost of $82.7 million or four new elementary schools with preference at existing sites, at a total cost of $93.2 million? ______support High School ______support Elementary Schools ______ do not support new high school or new elementary schools


  1. If you did not indicate support for new elementary schools in question 10, would you support renovations and new classrooms, furniture, and equipment at each elementary school to provide for current and future students in a PK-5 traditional grade structure at a total approximate cost of $49.1 million? ______ yes ______ no ______ supported new elementary schools


  1. If you did not indicate support for a new high school in question 10, would you support high school renovations, a new Career & Technology Center, additional classrooms, furniture, and equipment to provide for current and future students at a total approximate cost of $38.6 million? ______ yes ______ no ______ supported new high school


  1. To provide for current students as well as future growth, would you support renovations at the two middle schools, that include classrooms, parking, furniture, and equipment, for a total bond related cost of $11.1 million? ______yes ______no


  1. To provide a “1 to 1” technology initiative that would have adequate band-width, infrastructure and wireless devices to provide computer access to all students, would you support a district-wide technology initiative at a total bond related cost of $4.8 million? ______yes ______no


  1. Safety and security surveys have been conducted at all Nederland ISD campuses and there are specific safety and security issues that should be addressed by the district. Would you support providing secure doors, locks, cameras, lighting, and other items needed for safety and security purposes, at all campuses, at a total bond related cost of $3.4 million? ______yes ______no


  1. In order to update the existing district stadium, artificial turf for the field, new restrooms, a new press box, and ADA modifications that are required by law which include an elevator and handicapped seating. Would you support these stadium improvements at a total bond related cost of $4.5 million? ______yes ______no


  1. Athletic program facilities and equipment, to include artificial surfaces for football practice field, baseball, and softball, a multi-purpose indoor facility, dressing facilities at the stadium, high school field house renovation, softball stadium remodel, and a track facility at the high school are needed. Would you support these athletic improvements at a total bond related cost of $16.9 million? ______yes ______no


Now, just two questions to make sure we have a representative sample of voters –


D.1 Please identify your age group from the following choices.

18 – 39

40 – 54

55 – 64

65 or over

(Refused to answer)


D.2 How many years have you lived at your current place of residence? 5 years or less 6 to 10 years 11 to 29 years 30 or more years 4 (Refused to answer)


D.3 Sex of respondent (not a question, observation only) Male Female

Caller final statement: Nederland ISD and the Citizens Advisory Committee working with the district to study facility and equipment needs, thanks you for your input. Survey results will influence the content of a possible May 2019 bond issue, if one is called. Results of this survey may be found on the district website in the next few weeks.