The Killeen Independent School District is considering helping the West Independent School District as it struggles to ensure students will be able to attend classes in the fall.
Killeen’s board of trustees gave the go-ahead for district administrators to look into the possibility of assisting West ISD by lending the district portable buildings to use for the upcoming school year.
“Since the explosion in West, they have been experiencing a lot of challenges and they are asking for our help,” said Megan Bradley, Killeen ISD’s chief financial officer.
West is within the service area for the state’s Region 12 Education Service Center, as is Killeen. The massive April 17 fertilizer plant explosion damaged West’s intermediate and middle schools, displacing hundreds of students. West’s board of trustees voted June 27 to demolish the intermediate school and some parts of the middle school damaged in the explosion.
“As I understand it, (West’s) insurance will replace the facilities, but they need something in the interim,” said Robert Muller, Killeen ISD superintendent.
Since the incident, the West ISD administration pushed to make sure students will be able to start school in August.
“They want to try and get those kids back in school,” said John Craft, Killeen ISD’s deputy superintendent. “It’s been very challenging for them.”
Craft and Bradley did not specify how many portable buildings West would need, but said the recovering district would be willing to pay the expense of transporting the structures.
No formal action or approval was taken on the matter, but Bradley indicated the district will continue to explore the possibility, and would need to ensure that lending the portable buildings would not have a negative impact on Killeen ISD students.
For their part, Killeen board members appeared to be in favor of helping West.
“They’re not just struggling to rebuild their schools, but are struggling to rebuild their community,” board member Corbett Lawler said.