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Forney ISD: 9th Grade Centers Open, Construction Continues on Warren, Clay, Themer & Wilson, The OC Grand Opening set for Feb. 2

Graysen Reid

Set within one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, Forney ISD has opened and will be opening several new schools and facilities to accommodate that growth. The building and construction can be seen all around our community, and the district wanted to provide an update for our Forney Family.

High School Equitable Master Plans & 9th Grade Centers

In 2019, our community approved a bond referendum that included expansions to our current high schools. Expansions began and have continued in multiple phases. Thanks to many under budget construction projects in the 2019 bond, our district will be able to finish out all of the long-term equitable master planned projects by the end of 2024.

As a new semester began on January 3, both North Forney and Forney High Schools welcomed freshmen students to brand new 9th grade centers. The goal for the 9th grade centers is simple: to create a small group environment where we can build meaningful relationships while teaching students to be successful as they transition into high school.  

Ninth-graders have a separate drop-off and pick-up area, flexible learning spaces for small groups, their own cafeteria, and a library, or what we call “The Hub.”

What makes the Forney ISD 9th grade centers unique from other districts is that it is located on the same property as the main 10th-12th grade campus and connected by a walkway. This allows our 9th grade students to be successful in their small groups, but still interact for fine arts, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities. They will stay connected as Jackrabbits and Falcons from their freshman year through their senior year.

In addition to the 9th grade centers, there are several other construction projects underway at both Forney and North Forney high schools as a part of the equitable master site plans for the campuses.

Over the last two years, North Forney expanded their cafeteria, opened a new field house and locker room, and upgraded the baseball and softball complex. 

Forney High also opened a new onsite baseball and softball complex, had upgrades to their library, and have a cafeteria expansion, fine arts gym renovation, and a new field house and locker rooms planned for next year.

At North Forney, expansions to the football field and press box will result in a facility similar in capacity and size of City Bank Stadium. North Forney will also add a full competition gymnasium to mirror the current competition gym at Forney High School. Renovations to turn the practice gym into a fine arts multipurpose space are also planned. Thanks to the 2019 bond facilities coming in under budget, we were able to complete these projects with the savings and faster than anticipated.

Themer Middle School

A fourth middle school, Donald P. and Vivian N. Themer Middle School, is under construction on FM 1641 next to Henderson Elementary.  It’s set to open in the fall of 2024 for 7th and 8th grade students. Molly Purl, the current principal at Jackson Middle School, will move over next fall to open Themer. 

Wilson Elementary School

Ed Wilson Elementary will be the 11th elementary school in Forney ISD. Wilson will house the Kindergarten-4th Grade Dual Language Academy when it opens in the fall of 2024. Current Criswell Principal Maribel Sanchez will become principal of Wilson when it opens.

Clay Jones Intermediate, Warren Middle School, and Jackrabbit Stadium

The current Warren Middle School campus is undergoing a transformation, as well as Jackrabbit Stadium. The campus will transition from a 7th and 8th grade middle school to become Clay Jones Intermediate, as the fourth intermediate campus in the district, housing 5th and 6th grade students. Dr. Barbi Nack, currently the principal at Rhea Intermediate, will become principal when it opens in fall 2024.

A new Warren Middle School is being built next to the current campus and will open in fall 2024 for 7th and 8th grade students.

In order to continue serving our middle school students, Jackrabbit Stadium is receiving a new turf field, fencing, lights, and a scoreboard in addition to renovating the stands, press box and ticket booth.

With the additions of Jones Intermediate and Themer Middle Schools, in fall 2024 our 11 elementaries will feed into four intermediates and middle schools. Rhea Intermediate feeds to Themer Middle, Smith Intermediate feeds to Brown Middle. Jones Intermediate feeds to Warren Middle, and Rhodes Intermediate feeds to Jackson Middle. Brown and Jackson will then feed to North Forney High School, and Themer and Warren will then feed to Forney High School.

The OC Grand Opening: Feb. 2

In addition to the new campuses opening, the Keith Bell Opportunity Central will host its dedication and grand opening celebration on Friday, Feb. 2. Partner retail shops and student-operated businesses will be open to the public from 4-7 p.m. A special dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held in the OC theater from 5-6 p.m. for the namesake, Texas State Representative Keith Bell. At 7 p.m. guests will be entertained with student performances and the well-known Emerald City Band.

Thousands of people are expected to attend. Tickets for the concert must be purchased in advance for $5 each at www.theoc.net. (Children under the age of 3 get in free.)

The Opportunity Central (The OC) is a multipurpose campus that partially opened for Forney ISD high school students in the Fall 2023. This February, the career, college and community center will operate seven days a week to accommodate businesses, community events and entertainment. The OC provides career-focused programs, college courses, and a variety of businesses and eateries open to the community for high school students to gain real-world experiences and employment opportunities. The OC includes a 600-seat theater, a 7,500-seat arena space for tournaments, concerts and events, and so much more. For more information, visit www.theOC.net.

For more information about the Forney Independent School District, contact the Forney ISD Marketing and Communications Department at info@edu.forneyisd.net or by phone at 469-762-4100.