WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita Falls Independent School District board member has offered another option to consider for the future potential bond election.
A ninth-grade center for freshmen to help them transition from middle to high school as a new option is being considered by school board members as they continue to shape a future bond package.
Board member-at-large Katherine McGregor presented the third option she believes will be more affordable, flexible and will allow children to thrive in a smaller environment.
“This is a two high school model, big school small school,” McGregor said.
In a WFISD special session on Tuesday, McGregor presented her idea for the future of the school district.
“This proposal is to build a new 6A high school,” McGregor said. “It would be about 400,000 square feet.”
That new school would house 2,000 and 2,500 students and only be for 10th to 12th graders and would be built at Legacy Park at the intersection of US Highway 287 and US Highway 281 at Windthorst Road.
McGregor also said this option eliminates wasted time for students in the district as well.
“We would expect a reduction of students missing a whole class period because of the time they have to spend to get to the CEC,” McGregor said.
Unlike the two options school board members are already considering to build one super high school or two new high schools, McGregor said she believes restoring a current facility will save money.
“We renovate Hirschi High School into a 3A or 4A high school, it would be a school by ‘choice’,” McGregor said. “It would offer 3A/4A extracurricular activities, so that might make it more appealing to both parents and students.”
McGregor also proposed using Kirby, Old High, and Rider as middle schools because she said she believes these schools have better amenities than what the district currently has.
A future ninth-grade center would also be created as part of option C: it would be located at Barwise, Old High or built new on the south side of Legacy Park.
All of this would be one phase of a potential long-range facilities plan.
The next phase which would be funded by a future bond down the road would include building two new middle schools or building a new ninth-grade center.
“As you guys know, we can’t go with three options, and go forward we are going to have to make some pretty difficult decisions and take a look at some data in detail for when we make those decisions,” WFISD school board president Elizabeth Yeager said.
In the meantime, school leaders said the board will continue the discussion at future meetings in hopes of creating a bond package for a future election in 2020.
McGregor did not say how much her plan will cost, but all of that will need to be decided by the board down the road.