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After G.W. Carver Middle School fire, Waco ISD reveals plans to relocate students

G.W. Carver fire
Posted at 7:47 AM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 08:47:23-04

WACO, TX — With the school year just weeks away, Waco ISD has to work quickly to find a place for those students displaced by the G.W. Carver Middle School fire. Roughly 460 students from the school will be moved to Indian Spring Middle School.

Transformation Waco, a non-profit that is already responsible for the operations of both Carver and​ Indian Spring, will be working alongside Waco ISD to work out the details of the move.

"Indian Spring has the capacity for roughly over 900 students and that is pretty close to the Carver and Indian Spring population," said Transformation Waco CEO Robin McDurham, Ed.D.

McDurham said while it is an outside non-profit, it's working closely with Waco ISD on plans moving forward.

"We're working with each department to maximize the partnership and look at what we can do to work this out the best for our families," she said.

On Tuesday night, about 60 people gathered in the Dewey Rec Center for a previously scheduled town hall meeting with Waco ISD trustees Keith Guillory and Jeremy Davis and city councilwoman Kelly Palmer.

On the list of topics for the night was a bond proposal that would go to reconstructing four schools, G.W. Carver being one of them. The school board is scheduled for an August 12th vote on the bonds.

At least one teacher raised concerns about the district's plans moving forward.

But in a long-term facilities plan from a June 10th Waco ISD board meeting, a plan to consolidate Carver and Indian Spring was already proposed.

"It's something that I feel like should be more of a community discussion, and we should hear more from the parents and teachers but they really aren't given the opportunities and the spaces to speak up and really feel like they're being heard," said Waco ISD parent and school board candidate Hope Balfa-Mustakim.

Balfa-Mustakim said she woke up to a text about the fire at G.W. Carver on Tuesday morning and was devastated. While she understands the need to merge Carver and Indian Spring, it should be done carefully.

"We're bringing two different school cultures together, and how are they gonna do it very thoughtfully and sensitively?" she said.

Transformation Waco says it is making decisions quickly to make sure everything is ready for students to return to school at the end of August.