DISD trustees to vote on plan spending millions on school repairs

DISD trustees will vote Thursday on a plan to spend millions upgrading schools in need of repairs.

One of those schools is Lakewood Elementary, which was closed for multiple days earlier this month because of a carbon monoxide leak.

Twenty-seven other schools are also on the list.

Many DISD schools are decades old and have had piecemeal fixes over the years, but nothing like the millions the bridge plan would add.

Lakewood Elementary parents started a private foundation to raise $500,000 to help fix their school.

They need $15 million, but the district has only allocated $12.6 million in the Bridge Plan.

"We know we need many, many more classrooms and we also need a cafeteria that holds our kids," said Dorcy Clark, a Lakewood Elementary School parent. "They're starting lunch at 10:15 and don't finish until 2 o'clock right now."

In northwest Dallas, water stains dot the hallway ceiling and cardboard tiles dangle in classrooms at W.T. White High School. One of the biggest issues is the HVAC system.

Dallas school trustees will likely give the go-ahead to spending $134.7 million in surplus money to fix structural issues, add classrooms and renovate others to become magnet or choice schools.

"It would be funded through a few different funding streams," said Mike Koprowski, DISD Chief of Innovation and Transformation. "One is bond money from the last 2008 bond program. Some of it would be maintenance tax notes, which is pretty standard practice in school districts, and then some would be general funds, cash."

You won't see any bulldozers or construction crews for a while -- once the plan is approved, the school board has to approve architects to make those changes, and then renovations can begin.

The choice schools will be ready by the fall, but the major renovations likely won't happen until next year.

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