To the Editor,
I am thankful to be part of such an exciting time in Waxahachie and Waxahachie ISD. The city of Waxahachie is enjoying significant and continued growth of both businesses and homes, while maintaining the feeling of “home” that our community has traditionally possessed.
WISD is growing also. In fact, we have added over 1,900 students since 2005. We want to be proactive to address growth for the district. Based on current student enrollment and the projected enrollment growth of state demographers, the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) made five recommendations to the WISD School Board. Two of these recommendations directly affect facilities to address enrollment growth.
The LRPC made the recommendation that WISD buy land for a new Waxahachie High School. This purchase will be made from budgeted funds and will provide enough property for the district to expand well into the future. The LRPC sees the value of having significant acreage to provide room for expansion if needed and to control commercial growth surrounding the school.
The LRPC also recommended that the WISD School Board call for a $125 million bond election. This money will address student enrollment growth and provide space for specialized programs to give parents more choices for their children’s education. The bond will provide the following:
New Waxahachie High School — $118,200,000 (est.)?The new high school will provide capacity at all grade levels through the repurposing of campuses. The new high school will contain classroom space for 2,500 students grades 9-12. It will also have core area capacity for 3,000 students if needed. The school will also house new Career and Technical Education facilities and a new Fine Arts Center. Because grades 9-12 will be housed in one location, the Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy will be repurposed as the third WISD junior high to address growth in junior high and maintain smaller class sizes.
Renovations to current WHS — $5,000,000 (est.)?The building would be configured to house Global High School in part of the facility. Global High will be able to maintain and expand its current instructional model, project-based learning, and be able to serve more WISD students.
The current Global/Wilemon campus will become another elementary school to address capacity issues at Shackelford and Wedgeworth. As space allows, the campus may contain a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Magnet (STEAM) for elementary students.
Renovations to Finley Junior High — $800,000 (est.)?Renovations will provide an updated facade and a track and field to make Finley Junior High similar in appearance to other WISD facilities.
Renovations to Turner — $1,000,000 (est.)?Renovations will prepare Turner to be used as a campus also to meet student enrollment growth. Our long range planning committee recommended that the district provide full day pre-kindergarten for all economically disadvantaged students, and this facility renovation will help us achieve that goal.
In addition to monies provided by the bond, WISD will use budgeted funds for work at Wilemon and WNGA and to purchase land for new WHS.
It is an exciting time for our community and for the district as we grow together to become The Education Destination at the Crossroads of Texas.
Dr. Jeremy Glenn,
Waxahachie Independent School District