After examining the campus, the FSC concluded that renovations to Lamar – to address all needed conditions and standards – would exceed 60 percent of the value of a new school building, Brown added.
Additionally, Brown said the FSC identified security needs at other campuses.
“While we need to replace Lamar, we need security at all campuses,” she said. “We have to provide for our kids a secure environment at all campuses.”
As Industrial Foundation president, Ball sees another side of the need to replace Lamar and improve security at all campuses. He said schools are one of the first topics that arise for businesses looking to relocate in Mineral Wells.
“There are two scenarios when we are talking to prospective industries wanting to move to Mineral Wells,” he said. “They ask, ‘What about your schools’ and ‘What about your medical facilities.’”
Regarding schools, he said “They are looking for how modern they are. If the town is progressive it will have fairly new schools, and Lamar is very detrimental to that. For 18 years I’ve been doing this and it always comes up, ‘How are your schools doing and how modern are they.’"
With tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., and other shootings and deadly incidents at schools around the nation, like Brown, Ball said security at all campuses is the top issue to address to try and prevent a similar situation from happening here.
“I just think, if we don’t get the bond issue passed and get security done at the high school and other schools, I hope we do not regret it later because we do not have security.”
Another aspect of the bond package is rebuilding the high school track. The ground under the track, like many other areas of the high school campus, has been affected by shifting earth. The result over the years is a track surface with cracks and warped areas. Because the track is not only vital to the school and hosting track meets, but is also used by the community – daily and for events like Relay for Life – the district wants to address it now.
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