$668 Million, and For What?

I know many of us are curious about what, exactly, the El Paso Independent School District would do with $668 million if we approved their bond in the upcoming election. KFOX reports:

The El Paso Independent School District gave KFOX14 a tour of Coronado High School for the $668M bond proposal.

If the bond is approved by voters in November, Coronado will take around $73M for improvements. Coronado is the most expensive project for the bond proposal.

By comparison, India’s Mars Orbiter mission cost $74 million. But they were trying to same money, a concern apparently not shared by EPISD.

One of the major issues with the current high school is the space, according to the district. The district said there isn’t enough space to accommodate for [sic] 2,800 students.

“The cafeteria is too small, the classrooms are too small as well,” said Melissa Martinez, a spokesperson for EPISD. “The facilities are just too outdated.”

According to Martinez, the school was built in the ‘60s. One of the issues is air conditioning, since the building is so old.

The school runs on evaporated air conditioning, which the school wasn’t made for back in the ‘60s. Martinez said it’s too expensive right now to add refrigerated air conditioning.

“It wouldn’t be energy efficient to switch to refrigerated air,” Martinez said. “The windows are made for it as well.”

However, Martinez said the administrators at Coronado are dealing with broken elevators and bathrooms every week. One teacher doesn’t have a projector screen, and instead made one out of cardboard for their classroom.

Oh, the horror! Evaporated air!

I reckon we can fix the problems at Coronado for less than $73 million.

Unless the real objective is to shore up our falling market share by poaching students from the Canutillo Independent School System. Then we’d need some kind of fancy, state-of-the-art upgrade.

And refrigerated air.


  1. The horror, indeed. EPISD-oclypse now! As an alumnus of the original Coronado HS facility I have no idea how I am even able to tie my shoes, let alone walk and chew gum simultaneously. How I survived what once passed for education in our fair city, served up in schools actually built with a budget in mind, is beyond me. There wasn’t a computer anywhere to be found. Typing was taught on manual typewriters. Elevators? You must be kidding. Literature was taught with bound paper bundles called books. Math formulas had to be scrawled on boards with chalk (I never saw a single teacher suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome). Truly a horror show.

    All that being said I must confess that in spite of it all I am actually able to keep my shoes on (most of the time) and I have parlayed that meager beginning into a rather full life. I became a Naval Aviator and even acquired a doctorate level advanced education. Somehow something was taught in El Paso that did not depend on state-of-the-art facilities to teach the value of non-physical contributors to the development of a mind. One may wonder at how Socrates could ever have taught anything to anybody by just sitting around in the open Athenian air with eager students discussing subjects such as mathematics, rhetoric, ethics and logic. I feel pretty certain that the western world’s first university, Plato’s Academy, had no air conditioning, refrigerated or evaporative, much less electricity. However, the Greek educational system of paideia did offer much which EPISD might be able to incorporate in our schools, and at far less expense.

    My basic problem is how our nation’s entire educational system seems to be a bloated fiscal mess where the goal is indoctrination with perhaps a little education thrown in. Our low world standing in scholastics speaks volumes. The local school districts spend as much as possible with the mantra “it’s for the children” to justify all expenditures. They then hand students off to the institutions of “higher” learning where they begin the process of personally acquiring mindless amounts of debt in the name of education because nobody along the way bothered to question the cost basis of anything. Cost-reward analysis as a concept and a lesson should begin in kindergarten.

  2. Irvin and Andress have about the same population as Coronado, they’re both older, and they’ve NEVER had and major work done on their campuses. Of course those two schools are in the working class section of El Paso so they’re not as important as the special snowflakes in Coronado.
    Been doing a little quick research about the EPISD Bond Issue. Did you know they formed a corporation to get around voter approval for bonds for the new district headquarters back in April? Did you know that the 2007 bond issue hasn’t even been completed? Around $174,788,559 and most of the money hasn’t been spent. https://www.episd.org/2007bond/ http://kfoxtv.com/…/episd-bond-committee-reallocating-2007-… They even dropped the northeast high school idea because there weren’t enough students. Did you also know that in February the district formed a corporation to get bonds for their new headquarters without getting voter approval? http://www.elpasotimes.com/…/episd-creates-corpor…/73899126/ Don’t you wonder if we’ve lost 5000 students, have staff and faculties been removed? By the way, here’s the staff and faculty personnel list. How many of these jobs could be deleted? http://www.episd.org/district_info/directory_new.php… By the way, one high school has 9 counselors for 3000 students. The same school has a principal and SIX assistant principals.

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