Bond Construction Continues: [Part II]

Joshua Smith, Staff Writers

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         Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, construction funded by the bond will be taking place. It provides funding for not only security upgrades across the district and renovations to Eagle stadium, but 23 additional classrooms, a cafeteria expansion, an auxillary gym and a multi-use activity center.

     “It [is] a great opportunity for our community,” superintendent Stan Surratt said. “Lindale has a tradition in offering a quality education for all students, and this would allow us to keep doing that, especially at the high school.”

     Given that construction will occur while school is in session and is set to be completed in August of 2020, there are security concerns to keep in mind while visiting the campus while construction is taking place. Things such as sidewalks have been marked off for students walking to the agriculture barn or to the student parking lot, and when driving through the roads on campus, being alert of either ongoing construction or other possible safety hazards is key.

     “We do want to remind students, parents and staff members to be very cautious and safe around construction sites and work zones” Surratt said. “We know there is some inconvenience but it is necessary to complete these projects that the community approved in the bond election.”

     Out of the 23 classrooms the bond covers, there are two more science labs, two specialty audio/visual rooms, a new room for the debate students and 19 other regular classrooms. The construction of these classrooms will be complete before school ends for the summer, with interior work to be done during the summer.

     “The 19 new regular classrooms that are in the process of construction are going to be practically identical to the ones that students are learning subjects like English, Spanish, and Math in right now,” principal Jeremy Chilek said. “The other five classrooms will have more specific purposes, all being created to benefit the students that take part in our journalism, debate and science classes.”

     Not only are the new buildings under construction, but a new portion of the parking lot is being built as well. This new section will begin construction after red iron for the buildings is placed, and will be concrete instead of the asphalt that the other parking lots consist of, but the construction of slabs and red iron, the framimg that the rest of the building is crafted upon, is the first priority.

    “It is important to get the slab work done before [the] poor weather season is upon us,” Surratt said. “Hopefully the construction firm can get the buildings in the dry before the heavy rainy season so work can be completed on the inside of the buildings.”

     Construction runs on a tight schedule during the school day and after so as the construction will be done in a timely manner. This schedule foresees construction being finished in early August 2020, meaning that the 2020-2021 school year will be the first year that can take advantage of the construction that the bond allowed.

     “Concrete foundations have been poured for classrooms, auxiliary gym and cafeteria,” deputy superintendent Jamie Holder said. “Steel is being erected at all sites [and] weather has been favorable and there have been no delays.”

     The bond not only affects the school building, but it also has a significant effect on the students. Prior to the bond, the cafeteria and hallways proved to be major problems for not only students but all visiting campus.

     “I feel like the bond really keeps the students in mind, and will help us all be more successful in and out of the classroom because of a variety of ways that it caters to our needs well,” junior Zachary Jones said. “The bond will be absolutely life changing when it comes to getting to classes and eating lunch.”