"We narrowed it down to four things, facilities, security, technology, and a career high school," says Tim Lancaster, chairman of the Critical Needs Task Force.
One recommendation is building a new career high school that would enable more students to gain the skills they need for the workforce after graduation.
"I've been told by a lot of college kids, that 'I didn't have that in high school!" says Briana Burton, a student at Holland Medical High School and member of the task force, "I think that with the other career high school it would be just the same."
Consolidating College Heights and Fannin Elementary into one school is another possibility. With both schools being nearly 60 years old, and within a few blocks of each other, some members of the force feel it's a practical choice to expand and renovate just one campus.
"After we looked at the conditions of these two schools, we think it would be a much improved environment for these students," says Lancaster.
The task force also recommends security upgrades to prevent future vandalism and increase safety.
"Unfortunately, we can't prevent everything from happening, but you can lessen it by putting in some other controls," say Lancaster, "and that's what we've done."
Classroom technology upgrades are also being considered. Teachers and students want the classroom experience to be more interactive.
"Kids want to be more interactive, and teacher want to be more interactive with their students," says Lancaster, "some of this technology would allow them to have that."
After the task force receives more input from Abilene residents, they will present their final recommendation to the school board.
They'll receive that input at a series of public forums. The first public forum will be Tuesday, January 13 at Holland Medical High School on the Hardin-Simmons campus. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m.
The second meeting will be Thursday, January 15 at Bowie Elementary School. That meeting begins at 7 p.m.