Financing the future: the $55 million debate

Our Position: LT should use the plot of land settlement to better the school environment such as making bathrooms cleaner, installing ramps,etc.

Staff Editorial, Reporter

Throughout January and February of this school year, there were debates on whether or not to sell a 70-acre plot of land that LT currently owns between 79th Street and German Church Road, west of Willow Springs Road. If we were to sell this plot of land, LT would be getting $55 million in return. 

This has brought up the question: What are the best ways to invest this money to better the environment of the school as a whole? 

Bond sales happen about every 10 years; the last one was in 2013-2014 and helped finance renovations to the NC cafeteria, Reber Center, and other areas. Administrators and the Board of Education make decisions on what to renovate based on feedback from students, staff, parents, and the overall community. 

The school district has already begun to plan what they would do with this money from the bond sale, which is in addition to the $55 million that would result from the land sale. These plans include the cafeterias and bathrooms being renovated, addition of air conditioning, modernization of classrooms, a new elevator at NC, and the possible addition of a multi-use turf field. 

While all of these are great ideas for bettering the school and student life in general, there are some specific things that need to be looked at and possibly fixed in order to make the LT community both happier and healthier. The land sale revenue could help with this.

This school year, there has been an obvious decrease in staff. From substitute teachers to janitors, the decline in help has created an obvious difference in the quality of the school environment, specifically with bathrooms. Because of the lack of a full janitorial staff for a majority of this year, male janitors must clean the female restrooms. They have to wait outside of the bathrooms until every girl had exited the washrooms. Because of this, it is harder to get the bathrooms to be clean and in working order all of the time. It would be a good idea to invest some of this $55 million to make sure the staff is full, specifically making sure that we can have an equal ratio of male to female janitors to keep the bathrooms clean and working. 

Accessibility for disabled students is also a great idea for improving and bettering our school environment. Making it easier for students with disabilities to get around on a day-to-day basis is so crucial, which is why the installation of ramps around school grounds could really improve the quality of a school day for those students who have a harder time getting from class to class. Although there are already plans in the works to improve the elevator at NC, ramps are also needed at some entrances, especially at NC.

On top of this, it’s no secret that there are some LT activities that are less funded. Specifically competitive teams such as Model UN, Debate Team, Speech Team, Math Team, and publications are often underfunded. With this $55 million, we could look into fully funding these clubs and activities to get them in a better position so they can succeed. 

Another huge complaint from students is the parking situation. Students must enter a raffle and pay up to $200 to get a spot around the school. If we were to invest this money into expanding the parking lot or even investing in getting a new one altogether, it could make the school day easier for students and could even decrease tardiness in the morning. 

Overall, there are many ways that the school could invest this money to make a better and less stressful environment for LT students. From renovations to installing new equipment in general, this $55 million could really improve the school.