WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls Independent School District officials released images of the proposed new high schools ahead of a school bond election Nov. 3.
The two equally sized high schools will be located in the southwest and southeast sides of town. One located at the southwestern corner of Henry S. Grace freeway and Midwestern Parkway near the WFISD Career Education Center. The other at 6422 Seymour Highway.
Texomashomepage will be breaking down the $290 million bond, including thoughts from supporters and those opposed.
One parent said new schools were needed years ago and an educator said this is an investment for the future.
Amber Flores grew up in Wichita Falls, graduated from Wichita Falls High School and now has children of her own headed into the WFISD.
“When I was in school, they were in need of repairs then,” Flores said. “We’re spending a lot of money that we really don’t need to on these old buildings to maintain them when we could build new facilities and have better options.”
Flores, along with educator, Gonzalo Robles believe the school bond is the right move.
“One of the things by bringing new facilities is not only new schools, it’s new technology,” Robles said. “Access to the 21st-century technology that our students really need to compete in the global economy.”
The bond will be split on the ballot into two propositions. Proposition A is for the land purchases and building of the two new high schools, the other proposition, B, is for new recreational facilities like practice fields and tennis courts.
“You can’t have one without the other, you need better schools and better facilities,” Flores said.
Voters can either vote for one, both or neither.
“It is for the betterment of our community and I don’t see it as a tax increase,” Robles said. “I see it as an investment in the future, in the economic future of our city.”
The tax hike is an increase of $0.32 at most. Those over the age of 65 will not have property taxes affected which is something Robles and Flores said should be a no-brainer.
“Better schools have been shown to bring in more business and better opportunities for our cities as a whole,” Flores said.
An “investment” is how Robles and Flores look at the bond and they encourage others to buy in, too.
“You’re leaving a legacy for your city that I know that you love,” Robles said.
Not everyone is for this bond package.
Some believe during a global pandemic is not the time to raise taxes, others don’t like the locations of the two proposed schools.
This bond is also a part of a long-range facilities plan which includes more bond elections in the future.