So said Director of Operations for Trigg County Schools Matt Ladd last week to the local planning committee tasked with charting the school system’s growth.
“We need your vision and your direction as a committee as how you see our school district proceeding with the next 20 years,” Ladd said.
“We’re getting really, really close to capacity,” he said of the current campus.
Before the LPC discussed with JKS architect Keith Sharp their options and the costs for renovating the current schools, the LPC took a guided tour of the entire campus.
“We have nothing to hide,” Ladd said. “I’m going to show you our worst — because you need to see the facilities that your children are going to be going in.”
Indeed, Ladd pointed out on the tour an elementary room whose pegboard walls contain asbestos (The asbestos is safely encapsulated by paint, and is currently harmless. It will, however, have to be removed very carefully.); the leaky roof of the elementary school gym; the pre-school trailers that were meant to be temporary but are now ten years old; and elements of the high school vocational building, the building second-most in need of renovation, according to the Board of Education.
“I’m not [bashing our facilities],” Ladd said. “It’s just the state of what we’ve got.”
And it was not all bad news the LPC was given on the tour. For instance, as in need of repair as the vocational building is, it also features a classroom for an award-engineering program that was remodeled with in-house labor by Maintenance Supervisor John Fuller.
“I can’t tell you how much money he saved,” Ladd said. “This is just a start, hopefully, of what the whole center will look like.”
The LPC was also shown the campus’ cafeteria, which Ladd said has received many accolades. As he pointed out, though, the cafeteria has to be great — it serves 2,100 meals a day, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Alluding to one of the reasons it might be time to expand away from the current campus, Ladd said, “It drives the schedule for the whole district — one place.”
Assistant elementary principal Brian Futrell went further.
“It’s not feasible for our schools,” he said.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.