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Building a better Morton

Sebastian Munoz and Sebastian Organista

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Making Morton a better place may take years to happen, but renovations will begin this summer, and probably happen for the next five years.

The medium cost for renovating high schools can cost up to $45 million. Some benefits that come with renovations is that it can increase the property value of the school, any renovations can happen on the land that the school already owns, can reuse high quality materials instead of throwing them away, and renovations can create more jobs compared to new construction.

Assistant principal Randy Borgardt answered the following questions on school renovations.

What are future plans for renovation in the coming years for morton?

From exit 4-5 on all floors on the Austin side will be renovated throughout the school year and won’t be finish until second semester which means that area will be off limits to students and staff.

What is the budget for renovations?

The school was told to make a wish list and after they determine how much funds was available to be use, the wish list was prioritize to make sure to use the funds on the things that the school needed.  

What new renovations will students see in the coming 2018-19 school year?

Floors 1-3 will be checked for asbestos, new lighting and tiles will be replaced

Where do we get the money for the renovations?

Part of the money comes from bonds and a portion from the state

What is the most difficult thing about making/planning new renovations?

This year most of Mr. Gamboa’s meetings were meeting with construction companies and architects which took away time from the things he loves doing which were interacting with students

Were there any renovations done during the 2017-18 school year?

Some bathrooms were redone and other minor stuff but nothing too major.

What is the DREAM renovation plan?

Destroy the building entirely and build a new one. The building is hard to maintain from a renovating standpoint.

How often does the school get renovated?

As need to be and when money is available. Plans are constantly changing and renovation plans spans from 5-10 years.

Who’s in charge of the renovations/the decisions?

It’s very collaborative. They took suggestions from teachers, parents and administration but ultimately the decision comes down to Gamboa and the upper admins.   

What company is doing the renovations?

Vision Construction won the bid for the construction contract.

What will be the biggest visual difference be after renovations are complete next year?

The Austin front will get a new look making it look a bit more modern and a second elevator will be implemented.

We asked students about their thoughts on continue renovating or build a new one and here is what they had to say.

“We should build an entirely new school since the school is over a hundred years old,” Junior Armando Torres said.

Senior David Reyes agrees with Armando Torres on building a new school.

“The school is crusty. Build a new one,”  Reyes said.

Other students like Junior Melissa Gomez think we should continue renovating

“Since Morton is such a historic landmark we should try preserving it by continuing renovating,” Gomez said.

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The student news site of Morton East High School
Building a better Morton