While students are enjoying their summer vacation, the WISD Maintenance Department is busy making sure campuses will be ready for their return later this month.
Each summer, the Maintenance Department addresses facility needs that can be handled internally such as painting, replacing carpet and tile and replacing concrete sidewalks that have settled and become safety issues.
This year, in addition to those improvements, the WISD Board of Trustees approved using district savings funds to address some other facility needs that required repair. These included the replacing of portions of the roofs at Crockett Elementary and the Ninth Grade Center; enclosing elementary campus playgrounds with perimeter fencing; replacing fire alarm systems; installing new HVAC units at Tison Middle School and replacing interior wall and flooring needs at Austin, Curtis and Martin elementaries.
WISD Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said having a “skilled” department aids the district in being able to maintain a safe environment for students and staff.
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"We are fortunate to have a skilled Maintenance Department staff that is focused on taking care of our facilities,” he said. “While their work is essential to maintaining our facilities, we are assessing overall facility needs across the district to ensure we are prepared for future growth in our student population."
WISD is currently in the process of a comprehensive facility assessment to evaluate each facility in the district in areas like building code compliance, handicap accessibility, life safety, security and educational adequacy, which will provide data to help the district make future facility decisions.
"Student safety is a top priority, so we felt it imperative to address these needs this summer using funds from the district’s savings," Hanks added. “However, our overall facility needs are much greater than what we can do internally or with savings, so we are currently working to develop a plan to address them.
“Involving our staff and our community will be a significant part of this planning process, and we are committed to transparent communication of the details as we move forward."