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Final Report and Recommendations on Facility Study Presented to WFISD School Board

Consultants present recommendations to WFISD school board after conducting a district wide facility study.

Big changes could be coming to the Wichita Falls Independent School District.

On Thursday, consultants from MGT of America, who inspected all 41 district schools, gave their final report on the facility assessment to board members.

The Educational Facilities Master Plan is broken up into two phases with phase one having the biggest priority.

The consultants in phase one recommend keeping all three high schools with the goal of fully utilizing all three schools.

The recommendation includes moving programs from Carrigan Career Center to Hirschi.

Consultants say having a skills center at Hirschi will attract more students to the school.

All three high schools would also need substantial renovations.

Ed Humble, senior partner with MGT of America, also recommends going from a four junior high school district to three by closing Barwise and building a new Zundy junior high on a new site.

He says this will be more cost effective and help utilize the space more.

Humble says these recommendations are in the community's best interest.

"Whether we address that through renovations or through replacement, lets address the fact that we got schools that are scoring pretty low," Humble says. "We need to address that. We need to offer our kids 21st century schools to prepare them for the world they're going to be in."

In addition, Humble recommendation in phase one of the master plan would also move into a 16 school elementary model by closing Houston elementary and redrawing attendance boundaries.

Humble urged the WFISD board to budget money to take care of security and safety issues at schools and fix the stadium's parking lot which received the lowest score in the study.

Recommendations in phase one total almost $96 million dollars.

The board is not making any decisions on the consultants recommendations.

WFISD Superintendent Dr. John Frossard says this is just one of many meetings to decide.

"I want to remind everyone that the development of the Educational Facilities Master Plan is one of a series of steps that our Board of Trustees will follow as we plan for the next decade," Dr. Frossard says in a statement. "Any discussions of specific school closures, building renovations and bond packages are premature."

The final report of the Educational Facilities Master Plan will be posted on the district's website next week.
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