Prosper ISD will present voters with an unprecedented bond election, encompassing plans for constructing Texas's most costly high school stadium.
Despite Prosper’s original $53 million stadium, the district is sticking to the “everything is bigger in Texas” motto with a massive 8,000-seat stadium, which would cost $94 million. The district’s current plan is to build the second stadium at the Richland High School site at Teel Parkway and First Street, where the district already owns the land.
"The cost associated with the stadium is the best estimate based on inflation and increased construction costs," Prosper ISD Chief Communications Officer Rachel Trotter told Local Profile. "It is our hope that when construction begins on the stadium in 3-5 years, the economics driving increased costs will have slowed."
The cost of a new stadium would be part of a $2.8 billion bond package, known as Proposition C, which will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. Also included in the bond would be expanding the district’s current athletic facilities with renovations to existing turf and tracks.
"It is important to note that we consider the stadium as a classroom," Trotter said. "Our current stadium, as would this stadium, be used for various purposes throughout the year."
According to Trotter, events such as graduation, marching band competitions, JROTC, summer camps, field days and much more would take place at the new stadium. In addition to all usual stadium activities, Prosper ISD also has its national award-winning broadcast students run all the technology associated with the jumbotron and electronic ribbons in the stadium, producing the entire game and original content to show on the screens, as well as photographers on the field.
The district said the massive bond would not raise taxes in the city and promised a “zero-tax-rate” bond. Taxes would not increase because the district is currently operating at its maximum allowable level of outstanding debt. Prosper ISD is $1.6 billion in debt from previous bond issuances.
The district said the majority of taxpayers will not bear the burden of paying for these bonds, as their expenses will be offset by the increased taxable income generated by new construction, an expanded commercial tax base, new residential properties and the growth in existing property values. However, according to The Dallas Morning News, even in the absence of a tax hike, should property appraisals, as determined by the appraisal district, continue to surge, there is a possibility that taxes may rise.
According to Prosper ISD, they are the most rapidly expanding school district within the DFW region, bringing in 3,000 new students annually. From 2002 to 2023, Prosper ISD expanded from 1,000 students and just three campuses to a community of over 28,000 students spread across 25 campuses.
This story was originally published on Sept. 21, 2023