Consultant team members are looking at the physical condition of all 31 schools in WFISD and how well the buildings allow teachers to keep up with technology.

The consultants opinions won't be the only input school officials consider regarding this study.

Ben Franklin Elementary was built in the mid-1920's.

Students still learn here, but is this building, as well as all other schools in Wichita Falls ISD, up to the task of allowing students to learn properly?

That's what some consultants are trying to determine.

"Is the building really suitable to deliver the educational program that these professionals want for their children. Our job is to apply some criteria that we developed across the nation, which has been validated locally, and see how close that comes to being at a high standard," says Dr. Bill Carnes, a consultant with MGT of America.

So everything is under the microscope.

Because of changes in technology and state requirements schools are now trying to take facilities that were built more than 70 years ago and make them fit today's needs.

Needs that include technology and whether it's more economical to retrofit an old school to handle it or build a new one, all while anticipating growth for the future.

Consultants say this study will also include another key component.

"You cannot put together a facility master plan without listening to the voice of the people," says Dr. Carnes.

And public input will come Thursday night.

A Community Facility Input Meeting is tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Washington Jackson Elementary on Harding Avenue.

Consultants will have a presentation and answer questions.

The final report of this study should be ready to present to the school board by the end of May.


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