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Weatherford ISD

Work session yields short-term, long-term goals   


Weatherford ISD Board members met recently for a work session on how to address the district’s facility needs.
Weatherford ISD Board members met recently for a work session on how to address the district’s facility needs.

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” 

As a proponent of an educated public, Franklin would no doubt have been pleased to know Weatherford ISD was following his profound advice.  

A work session March 4 helped trustees narrow down the district’s biggest needs regarding its facilities and strategize about the best ways to make those improvements happen with an unknown budget looming.  

“We have to be cognizant of what dollars could be coming from the and what school funding looks like,” said Superintendent Dr. Beau Rees. “At this point, we just really don’t know.” 

Rees was referring to the much-debated topic of school funding that has been on the minds of the education community since September when state-funded vouchers for private school became a possibility.  

Highlighting several campuses from the onset that all needed HVAC/mechanical work and roofing, Rees and board president Mike Guest said the best way to attack the rest of the wish list would be to identify short-term, intermediate and long-term projects.  


Rees said the administration would gather the information on the roofing that is still within warranty and the capital plans on upgrading the HVAC/mechanical units based on campus needs, those that break down most often, cost, etc., and bring it to the board at a future meeting. Guest added that to the short-term list.  

Member Greg Shaw then asked about the need for some routine maintenance items he noticed at various campuses and where that falls within the budget. Lori Boswell, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations, said those are tasks usually done during summer when there aren’t as many students around and at other times throughout the year.  

“The priority is definitely for schools to look good on the outside and the inside,” Rees added. “Facelift things need to happen, and we’ll put the figures together based on the annual schedule.” 

Short-term list

Other short-term items identified were building a new agricultural barn; turning the old auto building into a welding facility; purchasing trucks, passenger vans and smaller vehicles for student transportation to events; and upgrading the visitor side of Kangaroo Stadium to add a windscreen, fencing and ADA-compliant bleachers. The latter, Rees said, had recently been priced and would cost between $1 million to $2 million and would affect graduation. 

“With a lead time of nine months, there simply wouldn’t be enough time between the end of football season and graduation to get it done,” he said, adding that the visitor side is a “eye sore” and is worthy to address.  

Long-term list

The long-term list included the possibility of a new elementary school on the north side of Weatherford near Causbie Road; remodeling of the P-Tech building; reality of turning Crockett into a daycare; a transportation, central receiving and maintenance hub by the existing baseball field near Kangaroo Stadium; and building a locker room/band area. 


The biggest discussion was around the funding of all these items. Rees pointed out that WISD hasn’t called for a bond in nine years – a $79.5 million one that is being paid off this year.  

“No-one likes the ‘B’ word but there is only so much we can do internally,” he admitted.    

While Weatherford is “better off” than other districts because of a healthy fund balance, some discussion on what would happen if the state came after the money to help fund vouchers was entertained by the trustees.  

“If we keep building up this treasure chest, that doesn’t benefit our kids,” Shaw said. “It's a very real possibility.” 

Guest acknowledged that but added that the reason other districts are in trouble is because they spent the money they had in reserves and now have no backup plan.  

Rees said that more information would be brought to trustees in the coming months at future board meetings with the hopes that the funding vehicle is clearer by then.  

The board meets again March 25 for a regularly scheduled monthly meeting, delayed a week due to spring break.   


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