Equality for all students

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Currently, there are three operating elementary schools in Charlotte County. These schools include Eureka Elementary, Bacon District Elementary and Phenix Elementary. Currently, not all three of these schools have equal facilities.

At a January meeting of the Charlotte County School Board, Director of Facilities and Operations Larry Roller said, “Bacon does have a totally flat roof. Phenix does have a sloped roof.”

He also said the schools had two different types of heating systems.

“One of them had hot water, and the other had steam,” he said. “For both of them to (have been) built at the same time and had that difference in the systems with the same Architecture and Engeneering firms, I mean, it’s the same people did the drawings … I find it interesting.”

According to information provided by Charlotte County Public Schools, smaller elementary schools were consolidated in the county to form schools in the larger communities of Keysville, Charlotte Court House, Phenix, Drakes Branch and Wylliesburg during the ‘40s and ‘50s.

“Central Elementary School, Bacon Elementary and James Murray Jeffress Elementary were constructed for African-American children,” reads the information.

We applaud Charlotte County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard, the local school board and Larry Roller for looking into these issues and brainstorming ways to achieve equality for all students in Charlotte County.

While these schools may hold a significant historic value to the citizens of those communities, improvements are necessary to update the facilities to reflect modern standards.

“It’s a lot of needs at Phenix and also Bacon,” said Roller during the meeting.

Whether a consolidated school with updated facilities is the answer or updating the current school to reflect a modernized facility, the students in Charlotte County deserve the best possible learning environment available.

In light of school renovations in the county, Eureka Elementary School is currently undergoing a $3 million HVAC renovation project to improve the school.

Officials are also looking into the possibility of placing standalone gyms at Bacon District and Phenix elementary schools to satisfy a new physical education requirement mandated by the state.

It is our hope that all students in Charlotte County can receive the same quality of education while enjoying the same quality of facilities countywide.