WFISD board considers separate facilities bond elections

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — WFISD Board of Trustees is now considering separate bond elections to get the facilities plan in action.

One would be in 2020 with a property tax increase and another in 2027 at little or no cost to taxpayers.

Thursday’s workshop meeting focused more on the bond package rather than facilities planning.

Superintendent Michael Kuhrt laid out the idea of separating the facilities plan into phases.

A $335 million price tag riding on a November 2020 bond election.

“That would include two new high schools and renovations to the then three middle schools, three middle schools being Barwise, Rider and Hirshi and then maybe some other propositions on the ballot,” Kuhrt said.

Kuhrt’s original plan to have two bond elections in 2020 and 2030 both with tax increases with a more than $420 million cost didn’t sit well with all board members.

“For a district that’s never passed anything over $60 million, I really get squeamish as the numbers go up, but I really got a hard stop once that first number changes from a three to a four,” WFISD school board place 1 member Bob Payton said.

Now it’s back to the drawing board to reconfigure numbers to see how a 2020 election and 2027 no cost election will play out.

The 2027 election would require voters to decide on what to do with $90 million the district gets back from bond debt rolling off

“Or we would add what we want to do around 2030 to that and it might be a small election, say a 10 cent election,” Kuhrt said.

Kurht said it could be a problem if 2020 were to pass, but the 2027 election doesn’t.

“That messes up the whole plan,” Kuhrt said.

A phase three could come sometime around 2035 with another tax increase, but for now, nothing is set in stone.

The goal is to have a board-approved plan by February to educate the public for six months before a November package has to be ready by August.

The next board meeting is on Monday, Dec. 16, they’ll begin to discuss the property in closed session.

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