The board meeting room inside the Fort Worth ISD’s new administration building wowed Christina Thompson as she entered it.
“This is nice, as long as it helps them take care of our children,” Thompson said.
Thompson was one of many parents who got a first glimpse of the Fort Worth ISD’s new administration building, 7060 Camp Bowie Blvd., before the Oct. 25 school board meeting at its new location. The building is expected to create more collaborative efforts between departments to serve the community.
Last year, Deputy Superintendent Karen Molinar told the school board that the district planned to spend $37 million to upgrade the building, but the total cost ended up being over $40 million after construction. The district told the Report in September that the Camp Bowie project was “currently under budget.”
Trustees are appreciative of the new meeting room, which provides more seating and upgraded technology to help better serve the community, Board President Camille Rodriguez said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“This new office space allows for more staff collaboration, ensuring everyone is working together as a team to serve our families,” Rodriguez said.
Trustee Quinton “Q” Phillips told the Report the new location shows the community that residents deserve “the very, very best.”
When the community comes to the new building, it will help them feel like the district cares about students’ education because they’re investing in it, Phillips said.
“It really is spacing out to make sure no matter where you are, you have access to be able to come and speak to those who maybe you need to speak to and get whatever services you need for your young people,” he said.
Inside the boardroom, Fort Worth resident Jennifer Nelson was not as confident about the cost. Although she likes the building’s location, she would rather the money go directly toward the students’ education and teachers’ pay.
“For the number of times that the school board meets, do they need this type of fund usage for a building like this when our school district needs funds for the education of the children? I guess I need to do some research and find out more about that,” Nelson said.
Rodriguez previously told the Report that neither administration building’s location — the North University Drive one or the Camp Bowie facility — is centrally located, but there’s not much she can do about it.
The Camp Bowie project was estimated to be completed by July 31, 2023, but the district readjusted the schedule to August to avoid interrupting district services during the first two weeks of the school year. About 300 district staff members from multiple departments completed move-in by September.
Dang Le is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.