Jacksonville I. S.D. Says A New Elementary School Is Crucial - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/30/07- Jacksonville

Jacksonville I. S.D. Says A New Elementary School Is Crucial

Part of Joe Wright Elementary school in Jacksonville has been around since F.D.R was president in the 1930's, and the district said it's long overdue for a new school.

"We have to start somewhere," said Lindy Finley, Jacksonville I.S.D. Director of Finance.  "The elementary is where we're growing and busting out the seams."

"What we lack is the technology and the room to educate at the capacity of T.E.A requirements are now. Our buildings are below standard."

Among some of the school district's concerns are old water fountains, with little or no water pressure, and lunches starting at 10:30 a.m. because there's not enough room in the cafeteria for everyone.

The auditorium may look big, but it actually won't even hold half of the school. Safety is the biggest concern. There is an old fence, but anyone can get in around it to the playground area unchecked.

If approved, the average homeowner would pay an extra $8.71 per month. Some have suggested raising the sales tax to pay for the school.

"Actually i think that's something the State Legislature should look at," said Nathan Jones with C.S.C.A.  "I think it has some merit, but it's not something we can do at the local level."

Whether this proposal is approved or not, many agree it will have a lasting impact.

"Education not only affects Jacksonville and our children, but it affects the region," said Jones. "These children will grow up and hopefully stay in our area. We're a growing and vital area and their skill set will be used all over the state."

Courtney Lane, Reporting.  clane@kltv.com

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