Residents Weigh in on WFISD Consolidation Plans

It appears the long talked about consolidation of some WFISD schools may be getting closer to reality.

A sub-committee on the WFISD school board turned in its recommendation to consolidate several schools.

The consolidation is not dependent on a bond issue being approved by voters next year but, that bond issue would pay for a new facility for students from closed schools, and other possible additions and improvements to school facilities.

The playful sounds of these children might not be heard at Alamo Elementary for much longer.

Instead they'd be moved to Zundy Junior High, where school board officials have plans to consolidate Alamo and Sam Houston Elementary.

“By consolidating those two schools into one facility would allow us to have great efficiency with our facilities and have some cost savings through operating such old facilities,” said WFISD Public Information Officer Renee Murphy.

The school board says they'd also move the Zundy Junior High students to Barwise.

Those in the community have reservations.

“Kids have a sense of belonging, all the neighbor kids go where they go, so taking that away from them is very difficult but I also understand that the school system needs to utilize the buildings they have to their maximum,” said a former WFISD teacher, Angela Justice.

Combined, Alamo and Sam Houston are 200 years old.

Once closed and consolidated to Zundy the WFISD hopes to build a new facility, something they say is long overdue.

“We have had three new elementary schools in the past 17 years and so it's time to look at these facilities and see, get better efficiency certainly for the tax paper and quality education continue for our students,” said Murphy.

But as no surprise when funds are needed, the district may have a hard sell with some taxpayers.

“Well no, not building a new facility, I mean put use to the old schools, ain't no sense it just letting it be destroyed,” said Zundy neighborhood resident Terry Richardson.

“They do need new schools built here in town, I mean they have done some with Southern Hills and all of that... They need more of that,” said Douglas Hart, a Wichita Falls resident.

A new facility to replace two, which the district says is more cost-wise in the long run.

School officials say no employees would be laid off if they do consolidate the schools.

If the board gives final approval to the plan, students would be moved to Zundy and Barwise at the start of the next school year.

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