Parents express concerns about Meridian High renovations

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB

Parents express concerns about Meridian High renovations

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on December 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 20 at 5:22 AM

MERIDIAN -- Meridian High School is getting a $25 million face lift.

The project is now in phase two, but some parents are voicing their concerns about which buildings are being renovated and which are not.

Meridian High School was built back in 1975 and was in desperate need of some renovations.

That's why two years ago they started a $25 million, seven-phase project to bring the campus up to today's standards.

The auditorium only seats just over 200 and some parents say its not just small, but unsafe.

"If you go up on the stage, there's rotting floorboards," said concerned parent Kelly Hebert. "There's a leak in the ceiling that leaks down onto the stage."

Hebert says she was shocked to learn the fine arts building was not part of the schools renovation plan, and says the music program deserves what other schools have.

"To see the unfairness, it's tough, and it's tough on the kids," said Hebert.

While the auditorium did get a $150,000 face lift earlier this school year, Hebert says it wasn't enough, and parents have concerns over the possibility of asbestos, electrical issues, and inadequate heating and cooling throughout the fine arts building.

"As parents we want to see the very best for our kids, and we happen to know that our facilities are the oldest and most antiquated in our district," says Hebert.

But school spokesperson Eric Exline says the facility poses no health risk to students or teachers. 

"I definitely think it's safe," said Exline. "I understand that there may not be enough seating for every activity. I don't think there are safety issues that are here, not asbestos, nonelectrical, not anything like that."

He says the music program can use Meridian Middle School's auditorium that seats 1,200 and is just a half mile away.

Exline says the priority of renovations is to improve the academic areas. " Our focus initially is to get the academic space, the classroom space, so that it's equivalent where other kids go to class in our district."

The parents organized a meeting Thursday night to show other parents and students the issues in the building in order to raise awareness, in hopes that the fine arts building would be renovated as well.

The project started a couple years ago is paid for by the plant facilities levy and is expected to be complete in about five years. 

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