Reporting Andrea Menniti
LODI, Calif. (CBS13) – With teacher layoffs continuing and more budget cuts expected next year, some questioned why a San Joaquin County high school was receiving a multi-million dollar makeover.
Teachers and officials alike said it would be nice to spend that money on books and salaries, but the money can only be spent on building new schools or improving existing ones.
The Lodi School District said the $4 million project will replace single pane windows, old paint, carpets and other renovations at Lodi High School, as decided on by voters when Measure K was approved in 2002.
Veteran Lodi High School teacher Jerry Pike said he’s happy the classrooms will get a much-needed boost, but has mixed feelings about the timing.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Pike said.
District officials say construction costs are lower than ever thanks to the economy, and the earmarked money will go much further if its spent now.
“It’s imperative to act and take advantage of this opportunity while we have it available to us,” said assistant superintendant Art Hand.
Some of the improvements are already underway and the rest will be completed this summer.