WFISD Superintendent talks school bond possibility

Updated: Nov. 12, 2018 at 10:38 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt says the community is showing interest in a school bond.

Like some school board trustees and Henry Florsheim, President of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.

Florsheim said good schools are deciding factors for both businesses and people, adding our school facilities are holding back our economic development efforts.

“Many people including myself are anxiously awaiting a proposal from WFISD,” said Florsheim. “Seeing so many of our peer communities take positive steps to improve their school facilities just ramps up the urgency for us.”

Those communities he is talking about are Lubbock and Abilene. This past election both of those cities passed school bonds for facility repairs and new buildings. Improvements Superintendent Kurht said they are looking to make with a bond too.

“We completed a facility study, we know that we have facility needs,” said Kuhrt.

Needs a bond could help. From small campuses to old campuses it is no secret some Wichita Falls ISD schools need work.

While Superintendent Kuhrt said it would cost about $177-million to bring those existing buildings to standard, it is not their only option. They could consolidate elementary campuses. With that being the case there is no price tag on what a bond would total out to.

“It depends upon what our community wants,” said Superintendent Kuhrt.

The district has been getting ready to present a bond to voters. They put together Strategic Planning Committees giving parents, teachers, students and residents the chance to discuss ways to better educate students. Board members have even toured the campuses.

“We scored them saying what they had and what they didn’t have, so we have assessed all that,” he said.

He adds a bond election could benefit students and the city from an economic development perspective.

“We are part of this community we feel education facilities are a big positive or they can be a negative whenever a business is looking to relocate here,” said Superintendent Kuhrt. “But from an educational perspective it’s about adequacy of students, and then if we happen to have new facilities and the chamber of commerce is out there trying to recruit a business to come here, that sure helps them,”

Superintendent Kuhrt said with two new board members taking office in December the current trustees need to meet with them to make sure they are all on the same page to make a bond happen.

He adds how the district managed the bond that made the CEC possible is a good representation on how they are good stewards of taxpayer dollars and hopes through that they have gained the trust of voters.

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