Kimball Konception: Hixson renovation will help academics, athletics

Andy Kimball
Opinion Columnist

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“Water coolers, venetian blinds, multi-colored drapes and green blackboards will entice September students who venture into the ultra-modern interior of Hixson Junior High School next fall to learn new courses such as French, Spanish, Latin, photography and typing.”

That was a excerpt from the June issue of the 1955 ECHO newspaper that featured a story about the construction of Hixson Middle School. Fifty nine years later, there is a tax proposition that, if the school board agrees, could be put on a ballot as soon as this April.

The proposition would ask for a $28 million bond issue be used to “address the insufficient amount of instructional space.” Space is important because currently every elementary school in the district is at or over the maximum capacity of students attending that school, according to an article on the school district website.

The money issued to the district would cover a renovation of Hixson Middle School to add a section for sixth graders to attend school, so Steger Sixth Grade Center would be used as another elementary school to make more room for students. Computer school students would be allowed to stay at the re-purposed Steger Elementary School.

This change would help uncrowd elementary schools and give students more space to learn. Some elementary schools, such as Avery, have temporary buildings outside of the school to fit more students in classrooms. The overpopulation has become a problem for elementary schools, and this proposition is a good way to solve it.

Another important part of the renovation will be improvements made to Moss Field. The improvements would be “addressing cracks in stadium seating, construction of an eight-lane track and upgrading the field,” according to the school district website. A possible upgrade to the field would be using turf instead of grass.

These renovations to Moss Field would help the athletic program. First, upgrading the field from grass would help keep games from being rained out and postponed.

The football team had a game against Parkway South postponed and a game against Parkway North cancelled due to weather and field conditions. Also a game was moved from Webster’s grass field to Kirkwood High School’s turf field due to field conditions at Webster.

Second, there is a possible upgrade for the track from a six-lane to eight-lane track. This is important because with an eight-lane track the high school track team will be able to host more high-scale track meets, like the Conference, District or even Sectional meets. That would raise the track and Field program more money because hosting these bigger meets would charge admission to attend.

These changes with the proposition would be a great way for Webster to improve both its athletic and academic programs.

See also Bond Issue to be decided April 9.

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