Jackson R-II Bond issue, what some people have to say

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Between class periods at Jackson High school, it's pretty easy to tell that the school is busy. Teachers and students getting ready for their next subject. But that business is throughout the whole district, not just the high school.

"We know right now that we have overcrowding," said Dr. John Link, the Superintendent for Jackson R-II school district. "West lane [elementary school] is maxed out."

At that elementary school down the road, the classes are filled to capacity. Students even having to take some of their learning activities to the hallways in between classrooms.

"We have classes right now that are being taught in storage rooms," said Dr. Link. "We have classes being taught in teachers lounges, our students deserve a better future. Prop J is phase-one of a facilities master plan that covers us for seven to ten years of a plan."

Currently, that plan includes the demolition of the old high school building, building A. The building, built in the 1920's, is being used as a storage space.

It looks like a graveyard of desks, computers, and other classroom equipment that couldn't even be used in today's education system according to Dr. Link. The walls covered in apparent water damage and the school district still believes there are mold and asbestos in the building still.

"I wouldn't want my kids to go to school there," said Julie Rushing, a math teacher who also has kids in the district. "You're in that environment for eight, nine, hours a day."

"So it's concerning to you," I asked.

"It is very concerning," she replied.

But others in the community believe that the historical value of the building should be high enough to save it.

"We believe it can be restored and renovated," said Donna Tidwell. "We just wish that they would delay it a little bit and try to get more information on the subject before they make a decision. That's simply it."

The school Board believes that they have more than enough information for the decision. It's a decision that the school board voted unanimously for.

"This is a year and a half process of strategic planning, facilities planning, and gathering information that led to this decision," said Dr. Link. "You know we're tasked with the decision, bricks and mortar, versus children, and in my book, children win every time."

The vote will take place in Cape County on April 4 and if passed the school district could go through a redistricting to help with the new flow of students.

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