Levelland ISD’s Historic Treasures Need Extensive Renovation

This electrical distribution panel at South Elementary simply cannot provide the power necessary to utilize modern technology.

This electrical distribution panel at South Elementary simply cannot provide the power necessary to utilize modern technology.

The current windows at LIS are not energy efficient and they do not protect against cold or dust. After a recent dust storm, the sills were covered with dust.

The current windows at LIS are not energy efficient and they do not protect against cold or dust. After a recent dust storm, the sills were covered with dust.

South Elementary, currently home to 344 1st-3rd graders and 45 staff members, was built in 1950. The campus has served the district well, housing students from kindergarten – 6th grade through the years.

The facility is in need of major renovation. South Elementary recently received a grant to help rewire the technology infrastructure. With increased technology comes the need for greater electrical access. “Our main electrical switchboard is just maxed out and cannot support the load required from increased technology usage,” said South Principal Raemi Thompson. “The teachers at South want to use the modern technology in their classrooms. It’s difficult to meet the needs of today’s digital learners with our limited access,” Thompson said.

In addition to electrical improvements, the campus is also in need of plumbing updates. “The current plumbing at South needs to be replaced. In addition to septic backup issues at times, our restrooms are completely out of ADA compliance,” said Thompson.

Other needs to be addressed by the bond include updating HVAC systems, and replacing carpet, lighting and windows.

“For South Elementary to be one of the oldest buildings in LISD, it has held up well,” said Thompson. “The school holds a very special place in the hearts of many people throughout Levelland and I want to see it preserved. There is probably not a week that goes by that I don’t speak with someone within the Levelland community that either has had children attend South Elementary or that they themselves went to school at South. It is obvious that South Elementary is a community icon, and I hope to maintain that school pride along with the expectation of educational excellence for many generations to come.”

Levelland Intermediate School is known by many names… The “Old High School”, the “Old Middle School”, and now “LIS”. The campus was built in 1939 as Levelland High School where many Levelland citizens graduated until the construction of the current Levelland High School in 1979. Since that time, the building has housed 6th and 7th grades for a period, 5th and 6th grades for a time, and now accommodates 413 4th-5th grade students and 57 staff members.

Like South Elementary School, this oldest building in the district is in need of renovation. The outdated electrical, HVAC and plumbing in this building are all addressed in the bond proposal.

“One issue we battle, especially in the winter, is building temperature. Our windows are old and don’t keep the cold out. Our HVAC system is outdated. There are no air vents in our hallways. When we have a hard freeze, our building is bitterly cold. We open classroom doors to let some heat into the hallways, but that’s not energy efficient,” said LIS Principal Sid Gerber.

“Electrical needs are another top priority for this campus. Our teachers and students need to be able to use computers in their classrooms without overloading our electrical panels,” Gerber said. “We want to provide our students with advanced resources and a comfortable place to learn. Our teachers and our students deserve that,” stated Gerber

The District Facilities committee who called for the LISD Bond is committed to preserving these older buildings. They understand that these facilities mean a great deal to citizens of Levelland.

“While we are very proud of our newest buildings, we also take pride in our historical properties,” said Levelland ISD Superintendent Kelly Baggett. “There’s a great deal of value and many years of service left in these older facilities if we can make the needed improvements. These buildings hold a lot of memories for Levelland citizens. It’s important to the District to preserve those memories and to promote the viability and integrity of these facilities while modernizing them so that they meet the needs of today’s students and teachers.”

About KLVT News

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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