By Wyatt Goolsby
BIG SPRING - School officials say run down buildings and outdated facilities are plaguing the district. On Thursday, they made another push to pass a 60 million dollar bond by giving voters an up close look. Officials gave residents the chance to tour several schools they said need to be replaced.
"This is not something that we just like doing. We value the citizens input, and we know it's costly, and this is something that has to be done," Assistant Superintendent, Danny Ferrell explained.
Officials said on Thursday they wanted to give citizens the chance to see some of the schools' conditions for themselves. So, they toured two of the worst: Bauer and Washington Elementary schools.
"They've been here a long time," Ferrell said. "I believe Washington has been here since '51. For a building, that is old, it's in the best shape it could be in. The rooms are tiny, they cost of quite a bit of money for the upkeep. They're just old buildings."
Ferrell said for four of the elementary schools, a patch up just won't cut it. It's why the bond money would cover demolition of these schools, and construction on new ones. If passed, renovations are planned for four other schools in the district.
"Well, I think it's obvious that we need improvements in our school systems," Tommy Duncan, Big Spring resident and Mayoral candidate, said.
There may be little debate that everyone wants new buildings. But is it worth the price?
"I think the lack of a large number of people going on this tour tells me that most of the citizens have made up their mind on that issue, and I think it's very appropriate that the school bond is put before the citizens to give them the choice on what happens there," Duncan explained.
For school officials, either way they continue to educate.
"We're not going to give up," Ferrell added. "We are still going to have school. Our academics is on a rise. Our preliminary test scores have been an improvement. So we are going to keep plugging along and having school."
School officials said if you missed Thursday's tour, they invite you to call the school office. They said they're willing to answer any questions and schedule a tour. Election day is May 8th.