The Critical Needs Task Force presented their findings to a group gathered at Bowie Elementary, and according to their reports several AISD school buildings aren't passing the test.
"It's not where it needs to be in regards to meeting our children's needs," says Bowie Principal, Tina Jones. She continues to admit that," Each and every day is different when you have an older facility like Bowie, different things can come about."
Things like heating and air condition, lighting, electrical and general safety are day-to-day concerns for teachers and students.
Laura Vinson, a teacher at Bowie says, "I'm just concerned for their safety, for the environment that we have here."
A tour was given to guests at the meeting, and quality was a main concern. The lighting was too dim for classrooms, the foundation was shifting, and electrical outlets are full and are unable to meet technological needs.
Another concern was safety. Every classroom has an exterior door that, and while the teachers work to keep it locked, they say it's always a challenge.
Vinson says that the classroom temperature causes distractions that slow down the learning process for her first graders. "Basically, keeping my children focused when the temperature is so drastic, one way or the other."
Which is why Tim Lancaster and the task force are recommending older schools like Bowie, College Heights, and Fanin be closed down and put into new buildings. He says that the idea right now would be to merge both College Heights and Fanin into one new building, and then place Bowie in a new building of it's own. Although, he admits the timing is an issue when you talk about closing schools.
Principal Jones claims that a new building would benefit the students in a great way, in fact, it's what they deserve. "Our children deserve every opportunity whether it's in regards to what teachers are offering, the materials we offer to help students in education, or the facilities. Right now, the facilities are not where they need to be."
So what's next?
The Task Force will now compile all of the feedback from parents, and from their own observations and will present their recommendations to the school board. From there the board will decide on what steps the school district will take.