Monday, April 21, 2014 - 8:42:50 AM

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JC School District Lays Out Plans for Renovations

Johnson City residents will soon vote on whether to approve a $17.8 million capital project.

The project is being called Vision 2015, and the money would go toward improvements to the 45 year old high school.

A public meeting on the spending plan was held Tuesday evening, which includes renovations to the high school's science labs to make them safe and meet Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) requirements.  The project also includes renovating the locker rooms to address equity issues between the boys and the girls' facilities.

The district has also proposed the installation of an artificial playing field.

The Flood of 2011 caused damage to Green's Field on Harry L. Drive and a new field would be installed on campus.

Many who spoke out Tuesday were concerned with the cost and safety of the turf field.

Officials said it would reduce daily maintenance, and would cost less to maintain over time.

current teacher and former coach Patrick Hayes, said it's an investment that will benefit more than just student athletes.

"There are many schools around us that have it already and they prove to be good facilities.  Facilities that the community can use as well as student athletes and it's just an overall better situation for the school, kids and the community," said Hayes.

"We can use it for the marching band.  Our marching band currently marches in a parking lot and that causes a lot of issues. you have traffic issues, everything.  This is going to them a chance also to perform," said school board president Rocky Martinez.

Officials said this project would not increase taxes.  $1.25 million is  coming from FEMA aid and $1.4 million from reserves.

The remainder will come from state aid and funds from retiring debt.

Residents can vote December 10th at the high school and at Family Enrichment Network.

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