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Some say tax benefiting McKinley High is not enough

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BATON ROUGE - With an upcoming tax renewal up for a vote, people in old south Baton Rouge want to make their voices heard.

“We're saying that our vote is our voice and it is,” said Dale Flowers, President of the Mckinley Alumni Association. “We believe that we're going to have to use our vote to hold those responsible for ensuring that our kids are properly educated."

Opponents of the proposed EBR school tax measure say the money designated for Mckinley High School renovations simply is not enough.

“Right now we are bursting at the seams at Mckinley High School. We want a high school where years from now we're still going to have space to add students. It's a high school that a lot of students want to be at and we're turning people away now,” Flowers said.

The school district says Mckinley received more than 18 million dollars in their last two plans, and the revenue from the proposed tax would help get the campus to the renderings they made public just last month.

“We can make that a beautiful 21st-century school. The vast majority of the school is going to be built new,” said EBR Schools superintendent Warren Drake. “There’s 35 million there, but I think people forget we have Buchanan and University Terrace there also, and there’s another 25 million in those schools."

For a campus with multiple temporary buildings that have been around for years, the community around the high school just wants what they’ve been asking for.

“Five years from now, what $35 million will do now, it will not do,” said Flowers. “So we're saying, first of all, move McKinley up on the timeline for construction to begin.”

Superintendent Drake says EBR schools have a history of delivering to its students.

“Since 1998 the people of Baton Rouge have supported us overwhelmingly. We’ve built 18 schools. We’ve renovated 54. Every project we’ve done has come in under budget and on time,” he said.

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