In a special called meeting of the Westwood Independent School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday, the long range steering committee presented an extensive recommendation for the future of Westwood schools.
The recommendation included a proposal for a new school bond package in the amount of $38,325,0000.
The committee was charged with developing a plan for instruction and facilities, according to Superintendent of Westwood ISD, Wade Stanford.
The group audited all four aging campuses and worked on recommendations to begin the initial phase of what would be a multi-phase project.
The bond money would address and prioritize additions and renovations at the junior high school, safety and security, and ADA needs on all four campuses. It would also address additional mechanical systems at the high school.
After hearing the proposal, Stanford said the board was pleased with the efforts from the community members on the committee. He said the board was also grateful for the community members who were in attendance.
“The board was very excited and pleased by the recommendation,” he said.
One of the long-range steering committee members, Mendi Perry, said the most recent attempt to develop a bond the community could get behind took a common sense approach that prioritized the needs of the school system.
Perry said this is what was lacking in the prior attempts.
Two prior bond proposals were defeated by voters in May and November of 2019.
This plan, according to Perry, accurately prioritized the needs. For example, Perry said that while a competition gymnasium would be nice, ADA compliance should come first.
The committee and district collaborated to develop four profiles: learner, educator, leader and learning spaces, Stanford said.
These profiles will eventually ensure a holistic approach to the project. When the money is spent and changes are made, these profiles will demonstrate how the changes actually made a difference for better learning.
Perry said it will be critical in the implementation stage to develop a bond oversight committee.
“We want a bond oversight committee for accountability, transparency and communication,” she said.
The board will continue to discuss the plan as presented before taking a vote on whether to put the bond on the ballot.