FORNEY, Texas — The Forney Independent School District (ISD) says over $100 million in bond savings have paved the way for additional "equitable" facilities improvements to Forney and North Forney High Schools.

"With intentional design of shared and multipurpose spaces across several facilities, the 2019 bond construction projects were over $100 million under budget," read a statement, in part, from Forney ISD. "In addition to including an additional elementary school (Dewberry Elementary), this cost savings has allowed our district to finish out all of the long-term equitable master planned projects by the end of 2024."

Among those long-term master-planned projects are major renovations at North Forney High School's turf football field which would convert it into a stadium with press box similar in size and capacity to City Bank Stadium at Forney High School.

During a presentation on Monday night, Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry says a full competition gym will also be constructed at North Forney High School, to mirror the competition gym at Forney High School.

"Due to the 2019 bond facilities coming under budget, we were able to complete these projects with the savings and faster than anticipated," says Terry.

"When we think back to our high school experience, it probably looked different from today," stated the district. "But those core memories of Friday Night Lights, a band concert, UIL contest, hanging with your friends at lunch, FFA shows and so much more are what we remember as a part of that experience. Our students need the chance to experience each unique high school culture, whether you’re a Jackrabbit or Falcon, with unlimited opportunities in equitable facilities."

Among the projects highlighted in a facilities update provided to the Forney ISD Board of Trustees on Monday were the completions of the Welding & Fabrication Center at Forney High School, The Local restaurant at Forney High School, and the Animal Science Center, Show Ring, and Barn at North Forney High School — facilities designed to accommodate both Forney and North Forney High School students.

Additionally, serving both campus students, the Opportunity Central: The OC campus is expected to open in 2023-24. The OC is a career and college preparatory campus, in partnership with Dallas Colleges and Texas Tech University.

At the time of the opening of The OC, Forney ISD also expects to open 9th Grade Centers at both high school campuses in the Fall of 2023.

"Freshman are entering high school with more opportunities than ever before," Terry said in introducing the 9th Grade Centers. "And, its important to start them out on the right track.

These 9th Grade Centers will be separate buildings for all Freshman students, connected to the main campus via walkways, with a goal to create small-group atmospheres where the district hopes to build meaningful relationships while teaching students to be successful as they transition to high school.

Each 9th Grade Center will have its own and separate pick-up and drop-off areas, flexible learning spaces for small groups, their own cafeteria, and a library the district dubs, the Hub.

"What makes the Forney ISD 9th Grade Centers so unique from other districts is that its located on the same property as the main 10th through 12th grade campus," continued Terry. "And, that way we're connected always by a walkway. This allows our 9th grade students to be successful but still interact with the Fine Arts and our Athletics, and extra-curricular opportunities. They will stay connected as Jackrabbits and Falcons from their freshman year to their senior year."

"In addition to the 9th Grade Centers, there are also several other construction projects that are underway at both Forney and North Forney  High Schools as part of the equitable master plan expansion and the site developments that were approved earlier this year," stated Terry.

The district provided the following development construction projects recently completed, ongoing, and planned (Additionally, readers can view a Forney ISD video highlighting the facilities, here: :

Forney High School

  • Library Conversion (Complete)
  • Baseball & Softball Complex (Complete)
  • 9th Grade Center (Opening December 2023)
  • New fieldhouse & locker room renovations (Opening Fall 2024)
  • Fine Arts/Multipurpose gym (Opening December 2023)
  • Cafeteria expansion (Opening Fall 2023)

North Forney High School

  • Cafeteria Enclosure/Expansion (Complete)
  • New Fieldhouse & Locker room renovations (Complete)
  • Baseball, softball complex upgrades (Complete)
  • 9th Grade Center (Opening December 2023)
  • New Competition Gym & Stadium (Opening Fall 2024)
  • Renovations to Fine Arts/Multi-purpose gym (Opening December 2023)

Construction estimates for each project were not released by the district during Monday's meeting or in an announcement Wednesday.