The Wichita Falls ISD has been kicking around two proposed options for a long-range facilities plan. At the core of both plans has been a new high school, or schools, for the city. Currently, the WFISD operates a three high school model: Rider, Wichita Falls High School and Hirschi. That landscape will start to change dramatically in 2021, if voters approved an as-yet-to-be-written bond package.

Option A called for a "super high school", a giant complex that would house the populations of all three current facilities. It's an idea that's been pitched before, and failed. While I've heard from a handful of individuals who love the idea, the chances of it winning with voters is all but zero.  Option B calls for two new high schools, but even that plan will have it's challenges.

Both options call for flipping Hirschi High School into a junior high. Just last month, a couple of callers to my morning show suggested that closing Hirschi was no big deal, as nearby City View High School could take in the high school students from Hirschi who didn't want to be transported to one of the eventual two new WFISD schools. Yes, there's a great idea! Let's just surrender a few more students from WFISD to another school district.  That's not exactly what I'd call winning. What's more, I'm not so sure that the City View ISD high school campus has the physical capacity nor the staff to just absorb an additional 100 to 300 or more students so easily.

The two high school model is more presentable, but losing Hirschi may prove problematic when the time comes to vote. The district could have the initiative, once a truly finished one exists, on the ballot as early as March. But I'm told it's more likely to be on the November 2020 ballot. Holding back another year would be a smart move on the part of the WFISD. It gives them an opportunity to truly sell the plan to the voters and it provides what could be one of the largest voter turnouts in recent history. The likelihood of capturing more voters 18-49 in November 2020 is high, and if they expect to pass any bond issue, they'll need as many of them as they can rally.


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