To renovate or rebuild? A look inside South Vigo High School

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – To renovate or rebuild? That’s the question as several area high schools are starting to show their age.

Public comment, on how to move forward, was welcomed at Monday night’s Vigo County School Board meeting. With a long list of pending tax increases, many of you want to know why your money is needed.

On Tuesday, News 10’s Lindsey Yates got an inside look at South Vigo High School, which opened its doors to students in 1971. Nearly 50 years later the school remains the same structurally, but now parents and administrators are calling for change.

“It’s showing its age. With as many students as we shove through here during the day, it’s just starting to show some age marks,” said Steve Joseph, Assistant Principal at South Vigo High School.

The biggest problem centers on the plumbing. There are fifteen outdated restrooms throughout the building. “We usually have our maintenance going through there fixing urinals, toilets, sinks, at least, one or two times a week,” said Joseph.

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is also cause for concern. Especially, with these recent back and forth temperatures. “So when it hits 65 degrees and we’re trying to adjust our HVAC to accommodate that. It usually takes about three days for the system to catch up and get balanced out,” said Joseph.

Then, there’s the empty pool. Filling the space won’t be a quick fix due to the crumbling infrastructure. “Taking care of the concrete work, support structures. There’s a lot of work underneath there that needs to be done before it can be made into a useful space,” explained Joseph.

The list goes on and on, Joseph says he’s leaning more toward rebuilding. Renovating could take years and distract from learning. Either way, many agree the plan needs to be well thought out.

“I would much rather take a couple of years to fix a problem right than to fix it in six months and revisit it again in two years,” said Joseph.

Improving the schools will most likely be a long-term project with more input needed. This is a story News 10 will continue to follow and bring you the most updated information as it becomes available.