After Prosper Independent School District voters gave an emphatic no to a $94 million football stadium that would have been the most expensive high school stadium in Texas, the district is considering a Plan B but is quiet on what it might look like.
Final results of the Nov. 7 bond election show 55% of voters said no to Proposition C, which was part of a $2.8 billion bond package.
The Dallas Morning News asked if the school district is reeling from the disapproval of a second football stadium and if it will try again in the next election.
Rachel Trotter, the district’s chief communications officer, said conversations have begun, but there’s no rush.
“We heard the voice of our community, so we want to take our time to ensure that we bring a package back to the voters that is in alignment,” said Trotter. “There isn’t a timeline to bring the second stadium back to voters yet.”
The town of Prosper has just under 38,000 residents. Its school district, one of the fastest-growing in the state, serves students within the town limits but also parts of McKinney, Celina, Frisco and Aubrey.
Since 2019, the district has grown from fewer than 17,000 students attending 15 campuses to more than 28,000 students at 25 campuses.
Valerie Little, the district’s executive director of athletics and student engagement, previously said a new stadium would help manage events as the district adds more high schools.
Prosper ISD currently has three high schools and plans to open a fourth in summer 2025, with a fifth high school planned for 2028 and a sixth possibly in 2031. The district would go from having one high school to four high schools in six years.
Leading up to the vote, district officials had campaigns to educate voters on the bond, saying taxes would not go up even if all propositions were approved.
Some voters, such as Gabe Nicolella said they didn’t buy it, saying in the end it would cost them.
Nicolella also said it is just too much money for today’s economic climate.
“In this environment, I just don’t see how we can spend that kind of money,” Nicolella said. “It’s all we hear about — people having a hard time making ends meet — yet they want to spend this kind of money?”
Jean Loar said she is all about supporting and funding education but was concerned about the “exuberant amount of money being spent on a football stadium.”
Trotter said taxes would not increase because Prosper ISD is at the maximum tax rate allowed by statute of 50 cents for the debt service portion of the tax rate.
“In fact, the district adopted a tax rate that was 18 cents lower on the M&O [maintenance and operations] side than it was last year,” she said.
The ballot included three other propositions, which were all approved by voters, to fund additional classrooms, expanded academic programs, safety and security investments, and instructional tools for current and long-term development.
“We are so grateful that our community supports the choice that public schools and Prosper ISD offers our children,” Trotter said. “These bond funds will allow the district to continue to build the facilities and offer the educational programs our community has come to expect.”
Trotter said as the district moves forward with the next bond program, it will continue to update and educate the public.
“As part of our commitment to transparency and an informed community, look for frequent updates on every aspect of the bond program,” she said. “From bond sales to groundbreakings, we will continue to tell our story of a district that lives its name.”