Lewiston High School is nearing its 50th anniversary, and it is still standing strong. The original design of the early 1970s included arts classrooms, an auditorium and a swimming pool, but they were cut to save time and money.

The current structure is lacking safe and appropriate visual and performing arts classrooms, appropriate special education classrooms, a passenger elevator and a secure entrance. It is also lacking enough space for all needed classrooms. Seventeen LHS teachers currently push all of their learning materials around on a cart as they move from one classroom to another throughout the day, making it challenging for both students and teachers.

LHS was built before special education students were integrated into public schools and before communities had to worry about the security aspects of school entrances. Special education and arts programs at LHS are housed in the basement in spaces that were originally designed to be storage rooms. There is a serious lack of natural light, temperature regulation and healthy air quality.

The current elevator was designed to carry freight, not people. While just wide enough to carry a wheelchair, it is not large enough to carry a gurney in an emergency situation.

I hope others will join me in supporting the LHS expansion project on Nov. 5. It is a thoughtful and responsible effort to solve a number of problems that LHS is dealing with. Expanding and improving LHS is an investment in our kids and the community.

It is time to finish LHS.

Karen McClure-Richard, Lewiston

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