Long-range Facilities Planning
Beginning in January 2021, the Waco ISD Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and district staff began meeting publicly to study the WISD's facility needs and help develop the Facilities Long-Range Master Plan.
A Facilities Master Plan is a 10 to 15-year strategy for Waco ISD for alignment of education vision and facilities while accommodating student enrollment and demographics as well as addressing on-going maintenance and operational needs.
Over the course of eight meetings, the CAC reviewed and discussed data and reports from staff on facilities conditions, educational suitability, and educational vision. In addition, the CAC reviewed the district’s bond debt capacity and demographic trends and predictions. The process concluded with final recommendations by the CAC on Monday, May 24.
Early in the committee’s process, CAC members began focusing on some of the district’s oldest buildings: Waco High School built in 1961, G.W. Carver and Tennyson middle schools built in the 1950's, and Kendrick Elementary built in 1952. While all four campuses had some renovations in the intervening decades, the committee concluded that the buildings do not meet the educational needs of today’s students and that it makes more sense to replace the existing campuses with new buildings at their current location than to incur the high maintenance costs anticipated over the next 10 to 15 years.
In some cases, the committee also discussed replacing existing campuses with larger buildings that could serve more students and, in doing so, offer more academic programs while reducing administrative costs. One possibility discussed was to build a replacement for G.W. Carver Middle that would be large enough to accommodate the students currently attending both G.W.Carver and Indian Spring middle schools. Another was to build a larger Kendrick Elementary that could also serve many of the students currently attending Alta Vista Elementary.
Architects from O’Connell Robertson presented the Facilities Long-Range Master Plan, including committee recommendations, to the Board of Trustees at the Regular Meeting on June 10th.