Portables to be purchased to address overcrowding at 2 WISD elementaries

Posted Friday, Jun. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Come August, portables will be a new sight on the campuses of Austin and Curtis elementaries.

At a special-called meeting June 4, the Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees approved the purchase of four portables, two for use at Austin and two at Curtis. Each portable has two classrooms costs total $440,400 - which includes delivery, installation, skirting, perimeter fencing, computer networking, ramps and sidewalks - and will be paid for with the maintenance and operations tax collected by the district.

Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said the Board Facility Review Committee of President Paul Paschall, Vice President Kip Hooks and Jeff Guyer met on May 30 to look at alternatives for the overcrowding issues at both schools after a proposed $107.32 million bond package failed to pass in May. Austin is at 104 percent capacity and Curtis is at 111 percent.

Grant Priess, WISD Executive Director of Operations, Safety and Security, showed the board where the portables would be located at each campus and explained the logistics. At Austin, for example, the portables will be located on the north side of the campus in between the main building and the staff parking lot. Curtis’ portables would be located in an area to the east, off S. Lamar Street.

Both sites would have fencing around the structures to provide a safe location for the children. When Dr. Joshua Tarbay asked what classes would be held there, Hanks said that hadn’t been decided yet but that at Wright Elementary, the sixth-graders are housed there.

Priess also said that power poles would be added - four at Austin and three at Curtis - to save from having to dig underneath concrete to rewire for the new additions. The poles can be removed when no longer needed and Hanks said it is a cheaper alternative.

“Hopefully, [the portables] are just a temporary solution so while it may not be as pretty, it is much less expensive,” he said.

After a motion was made to approve Hanks to purchase the portables, it passed unanimously. Hanks said they expect to have the portables ready August 1 and that they should be available to students when school starts in the fall.

Also at the meeting, the board realigned and voted Paschall as president, Hooks as vice president and Ashley Conlon as secretary.

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