Voters in Fort Worth may be asked to approve a multi-million dollar bond package to solve the severe overcrowding at Tanglewood Elementary.
The school was built for just 590 students in 1960 which in three years will have 1,000.
At a town hall meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Kent Scribner outlined three options –
Building a new school, construct another school and split classes between the two, or expand the current school building.
“Even if this solution lasts for 10 years, we will be back to speak with you”, Scribner said, “no one I’ve spoken to believes there will be fewer people living in Fort Worth in the future than there are today”.
Expanding the current building would involve adding floors, but would still be the least expensive option that would cost the district somewhere between $11 million and $13 million.
The Superintendent noted that there is some money left from the successful 2013 bond election which could jump start that project.
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Parents with children at Tanglewood Elementary are divided.
“I think these three options could be viable”, said Tanglewood parent Clif Wiegard, “there’s probably a couple that would be better for me personally, but I think it is to the education of all the children there, keeping us within the boundaries is where they really looked for a solution, I like that”.
“I feel that these options are not viable”, said Tanglewood parent Katie Stadler, “and that they are not innovative practices for early childhood education and that they don’t solve the problem”.
The Superintendent took a fourth possible option off the table, saying he would not recommend converting the Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center into a neighborhood school.
That brought cheers from parents of children at that school, who fought to keep it.
“We’re really glad that the district listened to our concerns and what we saw as the practical problems to re-purposing Alice Carlson” said Alice Carlson parent Jody Sanders, “we’re proud of our program and hopes it continues to be a success in its current home”.
The superintendent said he will recommend one of the three options to school board members in June.
Any one of the options would require voters to approve a bond package, which could be on the ballot as early as this fall.