|News from the desk of the Superintendent...|
|Friday, 03 February 2012 17:17|
By Karen Lyles
Hugo School Superintendent
Growing up, my mother would say to me when she saw a run-down building or house, “They need to jack that up and run another one under it.” Don’t you wish we could do that at Hugo High School?
In 1930, when my mother graduated from Hugo High School, it was not new. Can you imagine the deterioration that has occurred over the years?
If you have not been in Hugo High School in several years, I encourage you, the citizens of Hugo, to go take a tour.
Mr. Stamper addressed some of the structural problems in his editorial last week. Is it wise to keep putting more and more dollars into an unsound building?
Daily, the majority of our students spend a minimum of seven hours in HHS. The safety of these students should be a major concern of all parents and our community.
Conditions on the basement floor include a boiler so antiquated parts cannot be purchased. When it breaks, parts have to be manufactured because it is so old they are no longer available. The flooring through the hall has rotted in places and has had to be reinforced but cannot be leveled. The one useable student restroom is also on this floor, five stalls each, accessible through a hallway so small two people cannot pass. Students on the third floor have to go to the basement to the restroom.
No doors will close as the building has shifted. In one room, water seeps through the walls during a heavy rain storm. Cracks are readily visible throughout the basement.
The main floor has cracks that have been plastered again and again, and are still cracked. Doors will not close as the building has shifted. A crack in the north wall runs from roof to the ground. Plaster has fallen from one classroom, forcing the teacher to move to another classroom. The outside doors have to be chained at night after everyone leaves the building because none of them will lock. Use of computers on the main floor is a continuing problem—the building isn’t wired for the technology. One of the leaks on this floor is over the main frame computer station. At the present, a heavy piece of plastic serves as a funnel to prevent flooding of equipment. Another leak is over a science classroom. Ceiling tiles are constantly being replaced. Repairing the roof is a major problem as there are three different roof types on this building. The oldest part has a foam roof; the newer part a vinyl one; and the gym area roof is metal.
The third floor has many of the same issues. Heating and cooling issues abound on this floor. It may be warm on the first floor still cold on the third. This floor too, has issues with cracks, uneven flooring, lack of access to technology, and leaks.
In spite of all the problems and safety hazards mentioned, Hugo High school has many dedicated teachers. They teach in this facility that is more than 90 years old, move around puddles, over wires, and either freeze or melt depending on the season, and do so without complaints.
We know they are effective because we have graduates who attend major universities and colleges and compete with the best of the best. They are to be commended for their dedication.
Our school district was fortunate to reach a settlement with Siemens’. The settlement has allowed us to pay off two major debts incurred during the year of the mold issue. We are being very conservative and hopefully can build up a fund balance so when school begins in August, we can meet payroll and survive until state aid is received.
Our current budget does not in any way generate money for a new school. Districts now have to rely on passing bond(s) to build schools.
I hope you will agree with me; our students deserve a much better facility than what we are offering. Will you be a part of the solution?