NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - In an average summer, the Nacogdoches Independent School District (NISD) oversees about 10 significant capital improvement projects.
This year, the district’s plant services department is wrapping up 33 projects. They’re all possible after the passage of an almost $79-million bond issue freed up funding dollars.
A banner in the high school commons says the future is bright. It can be interpreted more than one way after every campus received new LED light fixtures.
Director of construction and facilities for NISD Ralph LaRue walked down a hallway at Nacogdoches High School to make the point.
“These hallways at the high school, in particular, had a very yellow cast,” LaRue said.
With the help of $1.5 million, the dullness was replaced.
“So now it has a warmer, brighter feel," LaRue said. "And from a security standpoint, it is very good.”
In all, about 13,000 light fixtures were replaced this summer. Students were introduced to the brightness this week.
“Students are more engaged. They’re more attentive,” observed career and technology teacher Jacob Lusk.
LaRue pointed out, “Clearly, study after study will show the physical environment affects learning.”
For Dragon football fans, Friday night lights will introduce LED sports lighting.
Athletic director Darren Allman talked about what fans will notice.
“You get an even distribution of light, where there are no dark spots," Allman said. "It’s a cleaner light.”
Last week's scrimmage under the lights presented a clear picture for video production teams.
Nacogdoches High School junior Isaiah Wright is the producer. He’s learning the importance of lighting.
“Definitely, especially when it comes to video recording or even just like photography. That’s why we have all these extra lights in here,” Wright said, pointing to studio lights in a news studio, currently under development.
Gyms, with their shiny refinished floor, another summer project, reflect the new lighting. Improved lighting will also shine over the baseball and softball fields being prepared now for artificial turf.
“When you see dirt moving, you see progress being made,” Allman said.
The lighting improvements are expected to save the district roughly $175,000 annually. The savings may shine a light on even more improvement projects.
A NISD report listing all the summer projects can be found at this link. www.nacisd.org/news/what_s_new/n_i_s_d_plant_services_keep_busy_with_projects
Also, project updates will be part of what interim superintendent Alton Frailey will present at his Huddle Time town hall meeting. It will be September 17 at 6 p.m. at the Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School.