WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The fate of the longest-standing high school in the city of Wichita Falls, once the two new Wichita Falls Independent School District high schools open in 2024, may yet be undecided.

On Tuesday, June 13, 2023, the WFISD Board of Trustees heard a recommendation to keep the campus open as a middle school, as part of an option for three middle schools to serve Legacy and Memorial High Schools when they open in the 2024-25 school year.

When the WFISD School Bond passed in 2021, the original plan given to voters included Hirschi and Rider being converted to middle schools, with Barwise Leadership Academy remaining the third WFISD middle school.

According to the original plan, the plan for Wichita Falls High School, which was founded in 1891 and has stood at its current location on Avenue H for over a century, was to be retired.

Now, the latest proposal from an ad hoc middle school committee suggests the WFISD Board of Trustees consider a three-middle school plan, utilizing the district’s current three high schools as their future middle schools, with Barwise and McNiel becoming elementary school campuses.

In the proposal discussed during Tuesday’s board meeting, Hirschi would serve as the middle school that feeds into Legacy High School and Rider would serve as the middle school that feeds into Memorial High School.

Wichita Falls Middle School, as it would be called, would serve primarily as a feeder middle school to Legacy High School.

However, according to discussions on Tuesday, students living in the current WFHS attendance zone and the future Memorial High School (primarily those within the current Zundy Elementary attendance zone) would have the option of attending Wichita Falls Middle School or Rider Middle School.

A two-middle school plan with the current Rider and Hirschi buildings was discussed, but district officials said that option does not seem feasible for the enrollment numbers.

WFISD trustees also brought up the idea of a 4 middle school option was also considered, but was later found to be cost-prohibitive.

This is only the committee’s recommendation and much more discussion and information will be needed before a final decision is voted on by the school board.

WFISD’s Legacy and Memorial High Schools are set to open in 2024, with WFISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee confirming at January 10’s board meeting that the schools are both on schedule and on budget.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.