Dallas ISD votes to close middle school destroyed by October tornado

Dallas ISD moved forward with plans to handle the tornado recovery in the district.

The move included voting to officially close a middle school destroyed by the Oct. 20 tornado.

The school board made some important procedural moves Thursday by voting to accept donations over $5,000 given to the district, notably from Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban.

They also voted to formally close Cary Middle School, one of three schools destroyed in the tornado, and voted to reappraise the properties that were damaged.

The board also voted to authorize the Dallas Central Appraisal District to reappraise all property located within the district.

At the last school board meeting, it was estimated that it could take three years to rebuild Thomas Jefferson High School, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary School.

The district had spent about a million dollars in the aftermath. It’s unclear how much insurance will cover for the district.

An idea that was floated at that meeting that received a lot of attention was the idea to build one K-12 center in place of those schools. That idea was not discussed by the board on Thursday.

The school board will be briefed on Jan. 2 on where the district is at in terms of financial losses, insurance coverage and looking forward to rebuild.

DISD does not have a cost estimate as to how much damage was done to the district in the EF-3 tornado. FEMA toured campuses with damage last month. That information likely won’t be released until the beginning of 2020.