The future of 3 high schools in the Wichita Falls Independent School District is now in resident's hands.On Wednesday at the W.F.I.S.D special session, the proposed $125-million bond was officially approved in a 6-1 vote. "Our demographic definitely shows a trend of an increase of low socioeconomic status families in this district. It’s up 11 percent in the last six years,” said Board Trustee, Dale Harvey. “My board members understand my opinion. They weren’t surprised by my vote. My concern is that a three high school model will ultimately be a better model. Not only now, but in the future with regard to how it addresses the needs of our changing demographics in this city. Even though I have a difference of opinion, I’m still a team player," said Harvey.
Now that the $125-million bond has been approved by board members, it’s time to sell it to the public who will vote May 10th.
“We can go out there and tell the specific facts about the bond and what it’s going to mean on a dollar/cost basis. We're not there to promote or advocate it. There’s usually a community member group that will go out and market the bond from a community perspective that will go and sell the bond to various groups," said W.F.I.S.D. Board President, Kevin Goldstein.
Wichita County taxpayers will see a tax increase. Two different scenarios were discussed at Wednesday's special session.
“What we looked at today, was different scenarios. One was for a $125-million bond and a 25 or 30 year term. It was two different perspectives: about an $122 to $134 increase for a home that would cost about $100,000," said Goldstein.
"The board has made a tough decision. As a community we have to compromise to move forward to improve our facilities," said W.F.I.S.D. Superintendent, Dr. John Frossard.
If the $125-million bond passes by the public, Wichita Falls will only have two high schools in its district, as well as a career tech school.
The bond includes building a new high school costing $64-million. The school would hold 1,900 students from 10th grade through 12th grade. The school would be located at Memorial Stadium. The bond also includes a district wide Career and Technical Education Center costing $24.2-million, which could possibly be located at Wichita Falls High School. Hirschi High School would get renovations totaling $10-million and would act as a second, smaller school in the district. Renovations and improvements in the district would cost more than $25-million.