May 17, 2004 in City

Bond sought to remodel school

By The Spokesman-Review
 

History would be served if voters pass the West Valley School District construction bond on Tuesday, advocates say.

For decades, the district has stored sections of a marble and granite archway that once stood at the entrance of the original West Valley High School. If the bond measure passes, the archway would be rebuilt and incorporated into the remodeled high school’s facade.

“It was taken apart by a professional brick mason company,” said district Maintenance Director Rocky McQueen. “We thought, ‘Why destroy something that is a community treasure?’ ”

The district is proposing a 20-year, $35 million construction bond to pay for a complete renovation of the high school, additions to its four elementary schools and maintenance work on its two middle schools.

If approved, the measure would cost homeowners 99 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $99 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

The state will provide $12.5 million in matching funds for the high school renovation, which would include the expansion of the commons and library and the construction of music practice rooms, a gym, fitness facilities and a dance studio.

The new gym would be geared toward competitions, with new locker rooms, restrooms, a concession stand and a trophy display. The changes would be welcomed by all who use the facilities, said freshman baseball coach Rick Jones.

“We only have one toilet in the boys’ locker room, which is really hard,” he said.

With the proceeds from the bond, music rooms, science rooms and the counseling center would be modernized and redesigned. Heating, power and telecommunications systems would be replaced and new storage areas created. In many cases, the building would be torn down to its structural shell and rebuilt.

The bond measure would also pay for two to four new classrooms, a new gym and a modernized kitchen at each of the district’s four elementary schools.

The state superintendent’s office is predicting the district’s enrollment will grow 7.7 percent by 2009 and more space will be needed, officials said.

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