Building a Smarter Future for Fort Worth ISD
- Fort Worth ISD Identifies Underused, Inefficient District Facilities
- Repurposing of Farrington Field Complex Will Preserve Iconic Stadium Façade
- District Expected to Net Approximately $60 Million from Real Estate Sales and Downsizing
- District Will Decentralize Instructional Resources to Schools and Regional Learning Centers
- Net Proceeds Will Improve Existing Stadiums in East and Southeast Fort Worth and Build Two New, More Efficient Multi-Purpose Stadiums on the North Side and in West Fort Worth
- Administration Building Will Be Among Properties Put up for Sale
Fort Worth ISD leadership has completed a detailed evaluation of the District’s sports and administrative buildings and other, non-instructional properties. The evaluation comes as FWISD continues building a smarter and more efficient District to better serve our students, faculty, staff, and the taxpayers.
The Fort Worth office of JLL, a globally acclaimed real estate services company, has worked the past 12 months to prepare a strategic real estate plan to identify and monetize under-utilized District property. The analysis includes a possible sale of FWISD’s current administration building and other non-instructional properties located near the building.
Additionally, the plan calls for the District and JLL to:
- Evaluate repurposing of all or a portion of the Farrington Field complex, including Billingsley Fieldhouse, to determine the best long term return for our 84,000 students and 5,600 teachers
- Begin planning for a District leadership and training center for central office staff, faculty, and students to be constructed on part of the Farrington complex, while preserving the stadium façade and most of the trees and providing a leafy green space
- Evaluate plans to build two new, more efficient multipurpose FWISD stadiums in West and North Fort Worth and update current stadiums in East and Southeast Fort Worth, as well as a new multi-purpose gymnasium. (see attached map for more information).
Commitment to Excellence in Academics
With voter approval, FWISD has invested more than $1.2 billion since 2013 in improving classrooms, technology used for teaching, school security, and other important efficiencies. By downsizing and divesting the District of inefficient properties, we can put even more money into the classroom and academic initiatives and training.
Commitment to Sound Financial Planning
Farrington Field requires tens of millions of dollars in updates, and Billingsley Fieldhouse is at the end of its useful lifetime. Immediate needs include a new turf field, safety and ADA requirements, upgraded locker rooms, HVAC installation, surface parking repair, and other capital improvements costing millions of dollars. While Fort Worth ISD has a strong record of preserving its historic schools (Trimble Tech High School, Polytechnic High School, Lily B. Clayton Elementary, Arlington Heights High School, and North Hi Mount Elementary, and many others), remodeling old stadiums and fieldhouses is cost-prohibitive.
The current FWISD administration building and surrounding District-owned property are also inefficient. By consolidating and modernizing the layout in a new administrative, leadership, and learning center on the Farrington complex, FWISD will reduce its square footage needs by almost 50% and cut operating costs by 30+%. The District’s net proceeds from this consolidation and downsizing, and from selling unneeded and excess property, are expected to total approximately $60 million.
Additionally, our forward-thinking school board anticipates that the sale of excess and inefficient property will place more than $50 million onto the property tax rolls of the Fort Worth ISD, the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Tarrant County Hospital District, and the Tarrant Regional Water District.
A private sector partnership that responsibly and compatibly develops the Farrington complex will eventually add an estimated $150 million plus to the property tax rolls, continuing the commitment to sound financial planning and excellence in academics.
Commitment to Preserving History
The Fort Worth ISD has retained renowned architect Michael Bennett and his Fort Worth-based firm, Bennett Benner Partners, to lead and design a welcoming green space and plaza that celebrates the history of Farrington Field and Billingsley Fieldhouse. The most significant portion of the stadium’s singular façade, the Farrington frieze and columns – an entrance that has welcomed thousands of student athletes and their families since 1939, will be preserved.
The plaza will honor the names and legacies of Farrington Field architect Preston Geren, Fort Worth ISD physical education director E.S. Farrington, and Fort Worth ISD coach Jack Billingsley. The design will also upgrade the FWISD “Wall of Fame” that honors more than 180 accomplished alumni.
Preserving the beautiful oak trees lining University Drive and Lancaster Avenue will also be a guiding principle of this initiative.
Commitment to Our Community Partners
Although some non-Fort Worth ISD sports teams play on Farrington Field, the most frequently used part of the complex is the parking lot. While there will be no interruption for the next 12 to 18 months, the District has begun communicating with sports teams, community organizations and businesses to ensure smooth transitions for all.
The Fort Worth ISD will continue to regularly update the community on these important efforts to be a smarter and more efficient school district committed to academic achievement. Comments about any Fort Worth ISD issue can be shared with the District through our onlineLet’s Talk feature at https://www.fwisd.org/Feedback or https://www.fwisd.org/Comentarios (Spanish)