VAN ALSTYNE — The Van Alstyne Independent School District board of trustees voted Monday to call a $24 million bond election for May 6.


Superintendent John Spies showed the board the breakdown of expenses for the $24 million bonds the voters are being asked to approve. Of that, he said, $22 million will be used for the new elementary school, $500,000 for renovations for the existing elementary school, and the remainder for land acquisition. He said with the city’s population growth, there is a reasonable expectation of school average daily attendance growth of 5 percent each year.


Spies also talked about construction costs, which he said he learned at a recent training seminar. He said these costs are considerably higher now than in the past. A graph he presented showed that in 2010, the average construction cost for this type of building was $138 per square foot. Today that has reached an average of $218 per square foot, and this bond is being estimated at $215 per square foot.


Facts that Spies presented were that Texas is higher than the national average on construction costs and that the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a higher average that Texas’ overall average. Some of the factors driving these up, he said, include product costs, labor rates, regulations on energy codes, off-site costs and other factors.


Spies will be meeting with the general contractor this week to begin developing information to inform the public, the voters, as to costs, need, timelines, and such of the district, he told the board.