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Fast-Growing Northside School District Looks Ahead To 2014 Bond

McAndrew Elementary is the first NISD school to carry a Boerne address.

Northside Independent School District’s community bond meetings began Thursday in an effort to define the most critical needs for the largest school district in Bexar County. Their next bond issue is planned for 2014.

The city of San Antonio’s population growth is reflected in its most popular school districts, and NISD is no exception. NISD spokesman Pascual Gonzales says the district’s population of over 100,000 is growing by about 2,500 students a year.

"While that doesn't seem like a lot," Gonzales says, "2,500 students is the equivalent of one new high school, two middle schools, or three elementary schools. And this is on an annual basis."

Gonzalez says the most rapid growth is along the I-10 corridor, and in far west Bexar County. With the opening of McAndrew Elementary, an NISD school carries a Boerne address for the first time in the district's history.

Gonzalez says their greatest need, for 400 additional classrooms, is just the beginning.

"There are school buses. You need libraries and you need computers labs and you need updated technology. You also need roofs that are not leaking. And you need infrastructure like these massive chiller systems that cool and warm the school. So we 're look at a little bit of everything."

Over 250 parents, teachers, senior citizens, administrators, students, community and business representatives have signed up for the bond committee. They will meet each Thursday for two months to outline a list to take the board in December so it can then craft a bond package to take to voters in 2014. The last bond election was for $535 million in 2010.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.