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Bland Middle School in need of repairs

We commend the Lewis County Board of Education for its decision to begin renovations of Robert L. Bland Middle School.

The building has been in use for years -- it served as Lewis County High School, in fact, before the new high school was opened.

The roof needs replaced, and the fifth-grade addition sorely needs a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

"The temperatures in those classrooms are extremely warm," noted board President Willie Parker.

Planned renovations eventually will cost $3.2 million. Board members have allocated $700,000 over the next five years from the school levy passed by county voters on Feb. 19.

Board members also are looking at putting together a proposal for state School Building Authority funding.

We believe funding should be forthcoming from the School Building Authority, for the simple fact of the building's age, plus that it houses so many children from all around Lewis County.

Other eventual improvements -- window replacement, upgraded lighting and electrical work -- all sound important.

Surroundings aren't everything when it comes to education, but we believe they are an important part in fostering a positive experience for school kids.

Full speed ahead with the renovations.

Today's editorial is a reflection of the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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