Lufkin ISD proposes new bond package for middle school

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin middle school was built in the early 1950s and almost 70 years later the same building stands.

"Our cafeteria is the same cafeteria they used in the 50s," said Principal Jesus Gomez.

The school board decided to have a bond election, hoping to build another school instead of spending money on repairs.

"We need a new middle school," said school board President, Scott Skelton. "It's dated, it's worn out, and our kids just really deserve better."

One of the main problems the middle school faces is the air conditioning system.

"They've got drainage in the hallways and when it's extremely hot we have to use big trash cans to collect all the water that's coming out of there," said Gomez.

Right now Lufkin high school's basketball teams use the gym at the middle school and their softball teams use the fields in Morris Frank Park, but the bond package will give them their own competitive gym and baseball field.

"The renovations and improvements will make a huge difference in pick up and drop off for our students. There's a safety issue all day long when I have no way to secure the perimeter of the campus," Gomez said.

In May an election will take place for residents to agree or disagree on building the new school.

"If they're over 65 their taxes won't be effected whatsoever. If they are younger than 65 and own property within the district then yes they will be voting to raise taxes to pay for a new middle school," said Skelton.

As for Principal Gomez, he hopes the community does vote to build a new school, so all 1700 students are in doors at all times.

"With us being in 9 different buildings we can't close or lock the exterior doors because our students have to come in and out all day," Gomez said.

According to Skelton cost to build the new school will be about $70 million.
The board will meet next Tuesday to decide on the bond proposal.

If the district decides to move forward, the community will vote on the proposal May 8th.

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