Weatherford ISD board of trustees discussed facilities during their meeting on Monday evening.
“What we hope to do with facilities tonight is kind of just give you and administrative view of things that need to happen that the board may need to consider here in the near future,” Superintendent Jeffrey Hanks said.
After previous demographics reports, it was evident that certain campuses are nearing their capacity limits. Curtis Elementary is expected to reach enrollment of 814, which exceeds 105 percent of stated capacity, by the 2023-24 school year. Martin Elementary is also expected to exceed 105 percent of stated capacity but in 2027-28 with 739 students enrolled.
Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Lori Boswell said in her report to the board that Austin Elementary, Ikard Elementary, Hall Middle School and Weatherford High School are also expected to have overcrowding issues within the coming years.
For Curtis Elementary, WISD moved some programs away from the campus up to the 2021-22 school year to lessen capacity issues. The administration is recommending changing the attendance zones for the elementary districts to balance the growth, Boswell said. Other options include use of portable buildings, additions to campuses or a new elementary campus.
To proceed with rezoning, the board would need to approve the rezoning process, survey parents and work with the demographer on areas of change. WISD would establish a committee composed of families affected by rezoning, Human Resources and Operations Assistant Superintendent Monty Chapman said. The committee would have about 20 members and would include campus principals and elementary parent-teacher association presidents and WISD executive cabinet members.
The committee would meet in the fall and winter to work on a recommendation for the board, according to Chapman’s presentation. Trustees would have the option to approve the recommendation by March 23, and a public hearing would take place a month prior.
Board Secretary Greg Shaw asked about the demographic information, and Chapman responded that the information is based on birthrates, influx of enrollment and housing growth. Boswell said the demographic information has been within 1 percent of enrollment.
“I’m worried that this is creating a panic on our part when in fact I’d rather see actual numbers,” Shaw said.
Board member Tiffany Fowler said she is against a plan that would put students in portable buildings because of the safety risks involved.
WISD administration also discussed other areas of need such as at secondary campuses, the transportation center, warehouse/storage space and a centralized space for the District Services Building. Administrators recommended putting together a Facility Advisory of Citizens, Teachers and Students (FACTS) Committee to look at solutions for the facilities issues.
Boswell also discussed funding options with the board, including bond possibilities.