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New high school still on schedule to open

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JACOB FLORES
The Ellis County Press
FERRIS - Despite all the rainfall, the new high school for Ferris ISD was still right on schedule says Superintendent Mike Bodine.

The $32 million project was slated to open for the 2008-09 school year.The price tag was largely paid for by bond elections and money set aside by the school in a fund balance.

While no specific sections are complete, the building as a whole was coming together quite nicely.

Walking into the school you can see the general outline of how the school was going to look when it's completed.

There are classrooms on either side as you walk down halls, although there are no lockers lining the walls just yet.

On each end of the 35-foot tall main hallway are holes covered with plywood which will eventually be filled with trees for decoration.

There are science labs galore, classrooms aplenty and an enormous band hall, the most impressive feature was the basketball court.

With a 55-foot ceiling and portable basket ball goals, it will truly be a sight to see when completed.

There will be a score board above each goal and one hanging down from the center of the ceiling much like the one at American Airlines Center.

Outside the gym there will be a big-screen TV on the wall facing the court which will show the game in progress.

There are also plans to build three practice football fields, six tennis courts and an athletics building behind the main building.

The school was designed to hold about 1,200 students, - continued from page 1
nearly twice as much as the current enrollment.

That number of students would qualify it as a 4A school.

This year's senior class will be the last to graduate from the old high school before it is turned into the junior high.

'There are a lot of disappointed kids out there.' says Bodine about the class.

There was one thing this year's senior class will be able to enjoy though.

The high school football field is undergoing reconstruction for the coming season.

Instead of keeping the natural surface, artificial turf was being laid down.

'It's more economical,' explains Bodine.

The school spent 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year on the natural field to keep it in working condition, sometimes to no avail.

The most memorable occasion was the last football game this past year.

Between the 40 yard lines in the middle of the field, instead of there being grass, there was dirt.

Turf effectively eliminates this problem and cuts down on the maintenance bill.

'It's cheaper in the long run,' said Bodine.

He goes on to stress how the transformation was being paid for.

'No bond money is being used on the field.' he says. 'It all comes from a building fund with money put aside for things like this.'

What about the baseball and softball fields? Will they get turf put down too?

'That has not been discussed at all,' Bodine replied with a smile.

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