WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) — The decades-long debate over whether to build a new high school in Woodford County continues.
Most people agree the county needs a new high school, but they can’t agree on how to pay for it.
Bats, rats, mold, flooding.. all things you wouldn’t want inside your school building can be found in Woodford County High School.
“We’ve encountered mice, I mean I’ve encountered it several times in meetings there,” says concerned parent Tiffany Morgan.
Morgan’s son graduated from Woodford County High School last spring.
“He’s seen bats as late as April last year,” says Morgan.
And, her daughter will start school there next fall.
“Seeing it and using those bathrooms and facilities and seeing what lives there is a little disheartening,” says Morgan.
And it’s not just the condition of the building.
“The space is congested. We had a district basketball tournament there last year and there’s no parking there’s no space to house people. It was extremely crowded,” says Morgan.
Then, there’s the location, which people say was fine 55-years ago when it was built, but not in 2020.
“It’s kind of landlocked, so we can’t really expand,” says Morgan.
Most people agree the county is long overdue for a new high school, but the sticking point for years is how to pay for it.
Taxpayers have repeatedly said they don’t want to pay for a new high school, most recently in 2018, when voters rejected a nickel tax to build a new school. This from one of the state’s wealthiest counties with the lowest unemployment.
“People don’t want to pay new taxes,” says Morgan.
But Morgan was for the proposed tax increase, as was school board member Dani Bradley.
In a statement, Bradley says the building was last compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) almost a quarter century ago.
“Our funding issues are difficult and will take a cohesive board and community working together for the betterment of our students,” says school board member Bradley.
But at what cost? Regardless of the price tag most of the community isn’t willing to pay it.
Opponents say the county can’t afford it and would rather see the school district cut spending.
Old problem. No new solutions, yet.