Capital Improvement Project for Fort Worth Independent School District
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord
Comprising 97 elementary schools, 28 middle schools, 13 high schools and a number of special campuses, the Fort Worth Independent School District (ISD) is experiencing a new period of growth, transformation and revitalization.
With the completion of a massive capital improvement project and other new strategic initiatives, the Fort Worth ISD’s diverse population of approximately 82,000 students can anticipate attending schools offering high-standard curriculums in a personalized, state-of-the-art and supportive learning environment.
Students also gain distinct learning advantages from classroom instruction provided by skilled instructors held to rigorous teaching standards. As a result, graduates of the Fort Worth ISD can expect to be well-prepared to pursue a college education or gainful employment.
Capital Improvement Program Brings Dramatic Changes To Entire System
The Fort Worth ISD recently completed its Capital Improvement Program (CIP) on time and under budget, greatly enhancing the credibility of the ISD as a responsible steward of public money. The $594 million bond package, overwhelmingly approved by 71 percent of voters in 2007, built five new schools, eight major additions and funded renovations for more than 100 schools within the district.
Initial estimates during the assessment phase placed the cost of improvements at $700 million, but successful planning and pre-planning of construction projects allowed the Fort Worth ISD to save considerable amounts of time and money while executing the project.
With a plan in place before the referendum even passed, the district hired architects and engineers for pre-construction services. The district also realized a hefty 20 percent savings due to a construction price drop.
The new schools built as a result of the CIP are sustainable, energy-efficient facilities that conserve resources. Other significant building and technology improvements were made systemwide, including the addition of new fire and security systems, updated public address systems, soundproof music rooms and 5,000 interactive whiteboards, the largest installation of its kind in the U.S.
The entire school system has seen “dramatic improvements,” reports Clint Bond, spokesperson for the Fort Worth ISD. “Every campus has been touched in some way.”
Bond says because the initial CIP was such a tremendous success, the savings are allowing the district to immediately move into phase four of the project.
Career Programs As Good As Gold
Students also benefit from many innovative programs that prepare them for college and career success, such as the district's Gold Seal Programs and Schools of Choice.
Since 2010, every high school and several middle schools in the district have offered specialized programs in college and career categories that include hands-on learning, internships, college credits, licenses and certificates, core instruction and Advanced Placement.
In addition, Gold Seal Schools of Choice, which offer non-traditional approaches to learning, are available at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Walter Dansby: New Leadership From a Familiar Face
In February 2012, Walter Dansby took the post of district superintendent. A graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Dansby is not only a product of the Fort Worth ISD, but has worked in the district since 1974, when he was a history teacher and coach at Rosemont Middle School. Dansby served half of 2011 as the district's interim superintendent before being chosen for the role permanently. Prior to that, he served as the district's deputy superintendent for operational management and human resources, also providing leadership for the CIP.
Read more about the education program in Fort Worth, TX.