WFISD School Board to discuss alternative plans to new schools amid budget, construction cost concerns

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls ISD School Board members are expected to continue discussions Monday regarding costs of construction for two new high schools.

Tensions rose in last Monday’s meeting when it became apparent that rising construction costs will increase the budget for the building of the schools and exceed the $13.5 million bond that voters passed last year.

Alternative measures, like partial completion of the athletic fields at both schools were proposed, using as much of the bond that were to remain available for them.

School Board Member At-Large Katherine McGregor was not pleased with the new proposals, claiming these ideas would make the board go back on its word regarding its intentions with the bond.

“But if you present it as though that’s what they’re voting on, and that is what we presented, then I think we should get a legal opinion that that is not a bait-and-switch advertisement in our presentation,” McGregor said.

The school board heard other alternate ideas, including maintaining the auditorium as an empty building that would not be of use until more funding became available in the upcoming years.

Board members were told by architects that the longer this decision is delayed, the more expensive this project will become, and costs on materials for the project is already up 21% since the board was approved, which is causing all of these downgrades.

The budget will be discussed further during the meeting Monday, November 15, at 6 p.m., and the public is asked to show up no later than 5:45 p.m. to sign in to comment.

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