New Facility Woes

About $7-million worth of renovations will soon be underway at James S. Rickards High School.

But some Leon County parents say the old school needs a brand new look, not just a makeover.

A new water drainage system, a strong roof overhead, they're just the beginning of what Principal Pink Hightower envisions for James S. Rickards High School.

"By the time we finish It's going to be everything at Rickards is renovated or remodeled," shares Principal Hihghtower.

That's because $7-million from a half-cent sales tax will help give Rickards a new look- but parents say that look isn't enough. Some feel a new facility is the only answer.

"We have to follow state guidelines at this time we don't have the capacity to request or approve a new high school," explains Leon County Supt. Bill Montford.

Parents say filling the halls is a tough task when it comes to outward appearances.

"If a school has a bad reputation and a raggedy building, who wants to move their kid to a school like that?" says concerned citizen Dianne Cox.

Principal Hightower says a new school would cost about $35 - $40 million. He says that's not a decision made overnight

"If you ask me would I love a new school? Yes. Would you love a new car? Yes you would!" Hightower adds.

Hightower says the difference comes down to wants and needs, and the school at this time, needs these renovations.

A group of parents who want a new high school on the south side will rally for their request at the next school board meeting.