WFISD school board discusses future high school plans

WFISD Board Meeting

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Things are moving forward when it comes to long term plans for middle and high schools in the Wichita Falls ISD. School board members met tonight for a work session and while it's still not official, they now have a more focused direction.

“There's no votes cast but I think we decided on some sort of a two high school model whether that's two equal high schools, or a large school and a small school,” superintendent Michal Kuhrt said.

The meeting began by providing the proposed plans for middle schools in the district.

For Kirby the plan is to close it in 7 or 8 years, citing the current maintenance issues, and lack of room for expansion. It was also brought up as a possible location for a new administration building. McNeal and Barwise will both stay as middle schools. At McNiel there’s plenty of room for expansions and is a good candidate to become an elementary school later down the line. At Barwise they discussed the possible addition of a retention pond and road connecting the campus to Maplewood Ave.

Hirschi and Rider High School would both be converted into middle school, both costing 55 million dollars each. Rider would need major work to the gym, cafeteria and auditorium.

Old Wichita Falls High School has a proposed plan with a total renovation cost between 70 and 90 million dollars. However, it could still be functional and usable as a middle school for a smaller price, between 5 and 20 million.

The future of Booker T Elementary was also discussed. It could also become a middle school later down the line. Doing so would have it fit into the proposed two high school system, where each high school has two middle schools feeding into them, totaling four middle schools in the district. Upgrades are needed at Booker T in order to make it usable as a middle school. It needs new sports facilities, gyms, and the addition of 15 classrooms, costing around 50 million dollars.

After this, board member Mr. Payton gave a presentation detailing options for the proposed two high school system. One point brought up was converting the Career Education Center into a small high school.

After this board members each gave their opinions on the two or one high school options, eventually settling by majority to go forward and explore the options for a two high school solution. They will meet again in October to expand on all of this and look at more fleshed out options for the new schools.

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