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Local view: It's now or never to fix Duluth's crumbling school facilities

Ordean and other schools in Duluth need to be fixed up -- and people are fighting it? The schools should be fixed now, not later when it will become even pricier.

Ordean and other schools in Duluth need to be fixed up -- and people are fighting it? The schools should be fixed now, not later when it will become even pricier.

I am at Ordean five of seven days of nearly every week and I notice things that could be fixed.

In health class, students complain about getting dripped on because the ceiling leaks. Though the janitors couldn't find anything wrong, the health room is underneath the second-floor bathrooms.

There is one place on the second floor where the walls are made of marble or some other rock material. I found a place where a chip of the rock could be pulled out of the wall. The rock, obviously, could use a tune-up.

Some locks on bathroom stall doors don't work anymore, so I think Ordean could use more than just a coat of paint on the lockers.

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Another school I noticed problems at is Lester Park Elementary, where I attended second through fifth grade. It's not accessible to people with handicaps and the floor is uneven from years of students and teachers walking over it.

The heating system is not very good. The school had to be evacuated once when one of the radiators in a classroom got too hot. Another time, when I was in fifth grade, everyone had to wear sweatshirts in my classroom because it wasn't warm enough.

The playground is covered with graffiti, and its swinging bridge often breaks. When the playground's asphalt was "fixed" it became as uneven as the floors inside the school. There are holes in the foam that surrounds the playground equipment.

A large stretch of asphalt near the playground should be grass because it is always used for football, and kids get scraped up every year while playing. I remember signing a petition in fifth grade to get grass planted.

The fire alarm also is not in tip-top shape. We used to have to stand outside for several minutes during fire drills before the alarm could be stopped. It's obvious Lester Park, too, needs more than a coat of paint on its lockers.

Nobody wants to see their schools closed, but maybe if some were closed, the community could better support the ones remaining.

I say let's fix Duluth's schools now. In my mind, it's now or never.

Megan McNamee of Duluth is an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Ordean Middle School.

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