LISD Considers Closing O.L. Slaton Jr. High School - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/26/05

LISD Considers Closing O.L. Slaton Jr. High School

A Lubbock I.S.D. campus may close and go a different direction next school year. On Monday, board members were presented with a plan to close O.L. Slaton Junior High and convert it into an arts and career center.

The original plan was to purchase the old Montgomery Wards building to build an arts, broadcasting and career complex at a location near 50th and University. The Home Depot recently bought that land and now LISD officials want to transform O.L. Slaton Junior High School.

Superintendent Wayne Havens says closing O.L. Slaton opens the door of opportunity for hundreds of students at LISD. "We provide opportunities for our students, that I think we must provide more than just the academic instruction," said Havens at a Monday morning news conference.

But before turning O.L. Slaton into an Arts and Broadcasting Career complex, students will have to move to other schools. Administrators say 144 magnet student who attend O.L. Slaton will be moved to Hutchinson Middle School next school year.

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Proposed Middle School Boundaries
LISD's proposed Middle School Boundaries without O.L. Slaton Junior High School in the picture.

The remaining 122 7th graders, "non-magnet students will move to a different middle school. You have to realize, every up-coming 5th and 6th grade student will be moving due to our grade configuration," said Havens.

Those students may have to move to Atkins, Hutchinson, or Dunbar. A couple of parents are concerned about the relocation. "I am worried about how I am going to get my kids back and forth to school. I don't have a car," said Melissa, who has one child at O.L. Slaton.

Administrators say they will save the district at least $600,000 by closing O.L. Slaton and much more by using a building that is already there for the new career complex.

If a student lives more than two miles from their home school, the district will provide transportation. The career complex is part of the $98 million bond package voters passed last summer.

LISD will hold a public hearing October 11th at 6 p.m. at the Administration Building before making a final decision.

The school selected to change O.L. Slaton because of its close proximity to the Byron Martin Advanced Technology center. Their plan is to physically connect the two career centers together.

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