The interior of Coffee County Central High School will see a facelift soon.
Some of the furniture pieces inside are more than 40 years old and were purchased when the school was built in the 1970s. The process of replacing those pieces - student desks and teacher furniture - is expected to start in the upcoming months.
The Coffee County Schools allocated $80,000 for the project.
“We would like to start our first year of getting new classroom furniture for our students at the high school and also new desks for our teachers,” said Lisa Myers, finance supervisor for Coffee County Schools, at the meeting of the Coffee County Finance and Budget Committee on Tuesday.
Because the funds had to be reclassified from one budget line item of the county schools to another, Myers needed the approval of the budget and finance committee. The committee voted to support that amendment.
“This will be a multi-year project because of the volume and the scale at the high school,” Myers said. “We are wanting to start this year and do it department by department.”
Many of chairs and tables have been used for decades and, Myers added, “we do have some liabilities – we have students falling out of classroom chairs because of instability.”
“So we really need to start (the project),” Myers said.
Last year, Coffee County Schools replaced furniture at Hickerson Elementary, East Coffee Elementary and Coffee County Raider Academy, according to Myers.
“So this year, we are wanting to do that at the high school,” Myers said. “We are very excited about that project.”
Furniture from the mid-70s
Paul Parsley, principal at the high school, said some of the tables and chairs are about 40 years old.
“We have quite a bit of furniture that has been here since the late 80s and early 90s,” Parsley said. “At various points over the past 20 or 30 years, we have replaced a classroom or two of student desks; but over time it breaks down and we are to the point where our newest furniture is breaking down because we haven’t had any new student desks in so long.”
Some of the furniture pieces were purchased when the school opened in the mid-70s, said Parsley.
“Many of these pieces of furniture have the high school name on it – they are labeled CHS with a year – and a lot of it goes back to the 70s, so we are talking almost 45 years,” Parsley said.
Impacting the school climate
Revamping the interior will positively affect the schools environment and will stimulate learning, according to Parsley.
“It really can have a positive impression on all of our attitudes – not only our faculty and staff but all of our students,” Parsley said. “When you have neat, clean, new furniture, you just feel better about your environment. It can be a real motivator. It can have a positive impact on the school climate.”
Students are more likely to take care of tables and chairs that are new and neat, added Parsley.
“When things start breaking down, you don’t feel the need to take care of them,” Parsley said.
The project will aid the goal of the schools to provide the necessary atmosphere to help students reach their full potential, according to Dr. LaDonna McFall, director of Coffee County Schools.
“We are in the process of evaluating the various departments at the high school and plan on replacing the furniture by department,” McFall said. “We realize that the learning environment is an important part of our students’ success and we are looking forward to improving the classrooms for our students and staff.”
Elena Cawley may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org