Weatherford Democrat

February 22, 2013

Weatherford ISD Board calls $107.3 million bond election to address safety and security, population growth, capital improvements, technology


Weatherford Democrat

— By DERIK MOORE

WISD Director of Communications

Members of the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to call a $107.3 million bond election at a special-called meeting Friday in the District Services Building Boardroom.

The May 11 election is the first time that a Weatherford ISD bond proposal has been on a ballot since 1999.

“The district and community have grown significantly since the last bond election,” Weatherford ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said. “The proposed bond would address many issues in four critical areas including safety and security, building capacity, capital improvements, and technology.”

Dr. Hanks also said a facilities committee made up of a cross section of citizens from the community was formed last fall to validate many of these areas of concern.

“Several ideas and suggestions were generated from facilities committee members,” he added, “and the Board took those recommendations to heart before deciding to call for a bond election.”

In the area of safety and security, the bond proposal would call for the construction of secured vestibules for each of the District’s 11 campuses. In addition, security enhancements such as exterior lighting, perimeter fencing, an increased number of security cameras, and building access control systems are included in the proposal.

The technology piece of the proposed bond includes purchasing equipment that would better prepare students for 21st century classroom learning.

“Every classroom would have an interactive whiteboard (including digital projection unit), teacher workstation, teacher tablet, wireless internet access point, and a document camera,” Dr. Hanks added.

Early voting will be April 29 – May 7, campus satellite voting will be May 2 (at all 11 WISD campuses), and Election Day is May 11.



Additional information included in the bond proposal is listed below (by category):

Safety & Security

- Secured vestibules at all campuses

- Cameras/surveillance equipment

- Building access control system

- Fencing / site improvements (i.e., security lighting, building access control system)

- ADA accessibility upgrades

- Fire panel replacements

Capacity

- 3-of-7 elementary campuses currently over 100% capacity

- Bond would address capacity issues through 2023

- Add ninth grade wing to WHS campus (78,000 square feet)

- NGC becomes a middle school

- Hall and Tison become grades 5 & 6 campuses

- Elementary schools become PK-4 campuses

- Construct a Career Technology Education Center (66,425 square feet)

Capital Improvements

Capital Improvements: (examples: roofing, HVAC equipment):

  - Security, technology and accessibility upgrades

  - Construct additional cafeteria space (WHS, WMS)

  - Relocate and expand ag barn facilities

Athletic upgrades to self-contained campus including:

  - Gymnasium for ninth grade

  - Additional locker rooms in Outback

  - Wrestling

  - All-weather track

  - Lighted synthetic turf field

  - Construct competition and practice baseball and softball facilities with restrooms, concession stand, and parking

  - Construct eight-lane track with synthetic turf field, lights, field events

  - Construct Road on WHS property connecting B.B. Fielder to main campus area

Technology

- Reconstructed and enhanced infrastructure

- Address electrical issues when adding multiple outlets in older classrooms

- All classrooms will receive:

- Digital interactive whiteboard (including digital projection unit)

- Teacher workstation

- Wireless Internet access point

See more on this story, included the projected financial impacts for property taxpayers, in Sunday's Democrat.