By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - As part of the $198 million dollar LISD bond, students at all 61 campuses will start seeing improvements as soon as next year.
Early improvements include state of the art technology like smart boards being installed in classrooms. "We'd like to have as much as that in the classrooms next school year as possible. Those are the kind of things that could be used by students and teachers right now," said Dr. Karen Garza, LISD Superintendent. Technology updates account for $28 million of the bond.
Garza says among LISD's top priority is the safety and security of the students, teachers, and faculty. $25 million will be set aside for this category with controlled access points into buildings going up as soon as next year and security cameras to follow.
Also falling under the safety category is creating closed campus lunches for all the high schools, something Garza says will take time as they have to expand each cafeteria. "We will phase it in but our challenge right now is with Lubbock High. That's or most complicated expansion of those cafeterias," she said.
Design plans for a new elementary to consolidate Wheatley and Iles Elementary Schools are already underway. The new school will be built adjacent from the current Wheatley elementary. "I'm excited that we'll be able to start that design process very quickly. We'd like to actually start construction, moving dirt, getting that ready by this summer," said Garza.
The consolidation of Murfee and Hanes will take longer. All students will be moved to Hanes Elementary while Murfee is torn down and a new school built in its place. "We have to make sure we have portable buildings set up. It has to be a really conducive learning environment," said Garza. "We don't expect that to happen until fall of 2013."
Another $39 million dollars is allotted for art and athletic renovations. "We'll get going with the turfs on practice fields, and the tracks hopefully sometime in the near future, maybe next spring," said Garza. However the much needed improvements on Lowery Field will take several years with renovations being phased in while the field is being used.
Although the timeline is subject to change, Garza hopes all improvements under the multi-million dollar bond will be complete in five years. "It's extensive, but it's really going to make a difference for our district and I think it's really going to position our district to be strong in the future; both educationally but also competitively," she said.
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