WFISD School Board votes 4 to 2 to adopt maximum budget for new high schools, facilities

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After hours of deliberation at Monday night’s WFISD School Board meeting, members voted four to two to adopt the guaranteed maximum budget of nearly $300 million for construction of the two new high schools and added facilities.

The original bond package was $290 million. WFISD School Board members came to Monday night’s decision after hearing from teachers, staff and architects about moving forward with the project.

Accepting this final maximum budget for the two schools ensures that both schools will be equipped with athletic facilities as well as auditorium spaces.

The board meeting was a full house as attendees voiced their concerns over the new price tag that constructions of the schools come with.

Instead of previous proposals to scale back, the board and architects on the project said they can make this new budget work and change the manufacturers. They’ll be purchasing materials from and still provide the district with two fully equipped campuses.

Some board members felt they needed more time to make this decision while others said this was the best time to move forward with the project.

“Last Tuesday at noon, we the school board were presented with numbers regarding these escalating costs and now we’re being asked to make this critical decision. Approving almost $300 million allocation but we’ve only had four days, four business days for information gathering and to examine any other option,” WFISD board member Katherine McGregor said.

“We are at the mercy of this economy and the situation we find ourselves in and we are going to have to prioritize what we do to make these buildings work,” WFISD Board of Trustees Vice President Elizabeth Yeager said.

The additional funding for the schools will come from the district’s E.S.S.R. fund and leftover funding from other district programs. With the approval of this budget, both Memorial and Legacy High School are set to still be completed in 2024.

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