NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A new Emeline Carpenter Elementary is the biggest investment in the almost $78-million proposed bond issue. The public was invited to tour the facility on Tuesday night to find out why the people who work there call it outdated.
“The best evidence you can see is when you see it with your own eyes,” said Nacogdoches ISD spokesperson Les Linebarger,
A tour requires a lot of walking, outside.
Principal Lola Moore explained, "We don't have hallways like a traditional school would have. They have to bundle and travel the length of the campus to get to their classroom."
The restrooms are outdoors. One restroom has three stalls to accommodate all the girls from six classrooms.
The walkways are covered, but in blowing rain poor drainage causes plentiful mud puddles, according to staff.
"Adults and children wear rubber boots to keep their feet dry," said Moore.
Some trips to instruction are farther than half the length of a football field.
The farthest trek is to the gym. The children appear to be having fun, so what's wrong with the space?
"I don't know where to start,” said Moore looking around as children played basketball. “We need a better floor. We need more space for storage. Communication is very poor with the main campus."
After P.E. it’s back across campus to the classrooms. Teachers adapt but don’t like it.
Teacher Alice Moss illustrates the poor electrical supply. "What's happening back here,” pointing behind her desk, “which is the computers, the desktop, and board are plugged into one power strip."
A tangled mess of wires is on the floor.
Principal Moore knows what modern classrooms have to offer.
A loud banging from something in the next roof is heard.
"Well, you don't hear the noises coming from next door. And a modern classroom would be larger. The lighting would be improved. The glare wouldn’t come in from the large windows. It would be equipped for computers for every child."
Some people have an emotional attachment to the neighborhood school built in the 1960's.
"They see the building as they saw it when they were students here,” said Moore. “It has changed. The environment has changed. The requirements on education have changed."
Linebarger explained the financial breakdown.
"The estimates are for $21.2 million to build a new campus at another location.
According to construction estimates, it would take $1.5 million dollars more to complete ‘phased in’ construction at the existing site on Leroy Street, which the district says has served its purpose.