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OP-ED: Harris updates on bond projects

Dr. Rickie R. Harris

As the bond projects continue, I have tried to keep the community informed of our progress. This year has not come without challenges; however, we continue to move forward to improve our campuses and facilities for the students of West Orange-Cove CISD.

We have completed the following bond projects:

  • North Early Learning Center- security enhancements, gymnasium bleacher replacement, parking lot addition, and classroom technology enhancements
  • WOS Elementary- security enhancements, classroom technology enhancements, classroom furniture updates, genre library and acoustic treatments in the gym
  • WOS Middle School- security enhancements including new door hardware and cameras, stage improvements, roof replacement, classroom technology enhancements, gymnasium bleacher replacement, classroom and furniture updates
  • WOS High School- security enhancements including new door hardware and cameras, stage improvements, band hall and choir room improvements, a turf field at the football stadium, core classroom, science lab and ECHS furniture, classroom technology enhancements, competition gymnasium renovations, water line insulation, HVAC system, entry door replacement, baseball and softball renovations, and weight room conversion

Lastly, here are the items still to be completed:

  • North Early Learning Center- a security vestibule
  • Career and Technology Center- updates for automotive, carpentry shop, and new cosmetology lab
  • WOS High School- roof replacement on the A building, football stadium press box, visitor parking and stadium seating, baseball facility ADA ramp and bleacher refurbishment, completion of the event center, new transportation center, science lab updates

Due to COVID complications and recent hurricanes, the science lab updates at the high school are rescheduled for Summer 2021. The transportation department will receive a new state of the art facility, with a projected completion date of September 2021, and the event center completion will follow soon after in November.

The Chromebooks included in the classroom technology enhancements have been instrumental to virtual learning during the pandemic. Because of the community’s support, we are able to provide one device per student for at-home education. Interactive boards and classroom furniture updates aided in our social distancing within the classroom.

After completing the weight room conversion in September, we honored Coach Cornel Thompson with the Cornel Thompson Strength and Conditioning Center’s naming. Coach Thompson has been a cornerstone of our athletic program, and the Board of Trustees found it more than fitting to honor him with this tribute.

We are excited about all of the changes taking place in the district and the impact it will have on student learning and achievement!

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.”

Therefore, we thank our parents, the community, and business partners for your continued support.

Go Mustangs!

Dr. Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD