Legacy, Memorial get extra amenities amid ‘$1-to-$2 million’ unused contingency funds

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After almost two years of construction, the Wichita Falls School Board received the last of its updates on Memorial and Legacy High Schools before the start of the new school year.

"Big relief to finally get to the finish line," Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said.

Since laying the foundation, the WFISD Board has seen Memorial and Legacy grow from the ground up.

Now standing tall, Lee estimated the schools are 99 percent complete. The bistros and auditoriums are the only things incomplete.

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"Those two things—we expect the auditorium to be done in Memorial, 100% complete. The bistro may not be 100% complete when the doors open," Lee said. "But by October, we expect Legacy to be complete 100%."

An additional $75,000 of seating for both gyms will also be spent, and storm shelters will be built for the schools.

Lee said the construction project was coming under budget, and they were able to spend those funds.

"Built-in is things called contingencies. So rising costs, unexpected things that could happen. Well, then you get to the finish line, and you realize some of those unexpected things didn't happen. And now, we've got a million or two left over in contingency money," Lee said. "You wouldn't know that was pushed back into it because we had contingency money, not additional money."

A security boost the schools are seeing is silent panic alarm technology, or S.P.A.T., a requirement since Texas lawmakers passed "Alyssa's Law" in the 2023 legislative session.

"There is a button that can be pushed that's hidden throughout the school. There's a couple of them that trips our local police dispatch," Lee said.

Along with bullet-resistant technology and film on windows at entry points.

As for athletic facilities, Memorial is on track for completion, while rain delays have caused the tennis courts at Legacy to be pushed back.

Lee expects them to be ready by early September.

"A few delays, but nothing from the educational perspective in the building. So we're excited," Lee said.

Soon, the schools will be ready to teach and hold 1,900 students and mark the start of a new chapter for the school district.

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