Finally, the last projects funded by the the October 2003, 11.5 million dollar bond election for Orangefield Independent School District are coming to a close. Completion of the new field house plus the new transportation and maintenance building fulfills all of the specifications of the bond issue.

“It’s been a long process,” stated Superintendent Philip Welch. “It will take a load off all our plates. We’ve all been involved since the inception.

They are still putting on finishing touches and the lockers for the field house won’t be in until Friday, but they can’t wait. The officials at Orangefield Independent School District are anxious to show off their new “digs”. They will be holding an open house to give the public a chance to see the new construction. It will be held 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Monday, January 21, on the school grounds.

Some of the construction plans were delayed because of Rita, but there was also a benefit that came out of it. “We were able to use some Rita money to get more than what we expected,” said Welch.

The old gym at the elementary school had been taken down and plans were to reassemble and refurbish it for the transportation building. Rita changed that by scattering the metal and damaging the materials beyond usability.

At a cost of approximately $800,000 for each of the two buildings, and with the completion of the other projects, the school district came in on budget and got a few extra “frills” because of the insurance money from the destroyed building.

Welch said, “All staff, students, and patrons of the community have something to be proud of. These facilities are second to none compared to other school districts.”

For 11.5 million Orangefield was able to construct these facilities:
    * 11 classrooms
    * Gymnasium with stage
    * Music Room
    * Computer Lab
    * Library
    * Renovation of existing office space
    * Renovation of 2nd and 3rd grade rooms
 Junior High:
    * Library
    * Restrooms for students and staff
    * 6 classrooms
    * Renovation of existing library for teachers’ lounge and workroom
    * New PA System and Fire Alarm
High School:
    * Gymnasium/Band Hall
    * 7 classrooms
    * 2 Science Labs
    * 4 Science classrooms
    * Renovation of existing band hall into a student activity center and snack bar area.
Softball Field
Field House Addition
Shot Put/Discus Rings relocated

You can check out the new Field House, and Transportation building Monday.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.