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Concrete advice for Cobb County: Focus construction on what really matters

Esteban Alarcon, Reporter, Photographer

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Cobb County decided to use substantial amounts of taxpayer money (SPLOST funds) for the construction of NC’s third gym and new theater, while the school lacks doors in bathrooms stalls with rotting ceilings above. When dealing with a school built in 1958, coordinators must financially prioritize, putting quality of the building first before size.

Every other corner of the school, one can find a squashed roach or a broken vending machine. Though the NC education program may be one of the best in the county, the physical appearance does not complement its reputation.

The main building of NC is also very dirty,” a former NC student writes in a review on greatschools.org. “The restrooms are uncleanly and just down right gross. If you don’t believe me, go see for yourself. I have heard and seen so many people complain about the bathrooms and nothing has been done to fix it.”

Considering the fact that 60.5 percent of Cobb County taxpayer money funds schools, one would expect reasonable financial decisions. The project on NC’s campus plans to build a stadium with a bleacher-capacity of 3000 students, but beside the construction lies a building with molded walls and rotting ceilings.

The majority of classes in the school utilize textbooks throughout the course ; half of these textbooks sport rusty staples and Scotch tape. After flipping through the many deteriorating books, people can look up to find numerous molded ceiling-panels. This lack of quality equipment and structure must reach the county’s primary concern, for these problems will eventually impact the academic performance of the students and inhibit teachers from performing to their full ability.

Such small yet vital details lacking quality in the classroom require first-priority attention and funding. Conducting a multi-million dollar project while absolutely disregarding internal issues of the standing building completely contradicts financial logic. Undergoing a large and expensive project while so many integral elements in the school still require repair may prove more unreasonable than giving a car a paint-job while its seats mold and a Hello-Kitty fan acts as the air conditioner.

Paint chips and the ceiling retains moist-brown stains in the men’s bathroom of the main NC building. To reach the urinal, one must strategically maneuver around disconcerting fluids leaking from the toilets and sink pipes. The sinks serve their purpose most of the time, but the soap dispensers function as well as a wind-powered toaster. The walls dividing the stalls? Short enough for Napoleon to conquer, and the occasional absence of doors and locks results in students catching awkward eye-contact with others while on the toilet.      

Though the thought of additional funding for the bathrooms and class equipment brings warmth, an investment in overall cleanliness of the building would positively impact the academic performance of NC students.

“A separate, more dated report entitled ‘Cleanliness and Learning in Higher Education,’ was conducted by Jeffrey Campbell, Ph.D, chair of the facilities management program at Brigham Young University. It showed that the level of cleanliness has a direct impact on the ability to learn,” an article for nviro said.

Cobb County continues its unnecessary construction projects on a 59 year old campus, inappropriately prioritizing where to invest time, effort and money.  

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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Concrete advice for Cobb County: Focus construction on what really matters