The lab in the Science/Chemistry department at DeKalb County High School hasn't been updated in many years and members of the board of education believe its time for a change.
A workshop meeting was held Monday evening at DCHS where Director of Schools Mark Willoughby and board members Charles Robinson, John David Foutch, Kenny Rhody, Billy Miller, W.J. (Dub) Evins, III, and Johnny Lattimore met with principal Kathy Hendrix and teachers Dylan Kleparek, Kevin Burchfield, Amanda Fuller, and Kelly Daniels to view the lab and discuss the need for newer facilities. County commissioners Jimmy Poss and Jerry Adcock also attended the meeting.
After the meeting, Kleparek, who is a physical science, chemistry, and physics teacher at DCHS spoke with WJLE about the condition of the existing lab. "Our lab is very outdated. It (same lab facilities) were here when we originally built the school. Its not very safe. The lab tables are all the way around the room and there is no place for the teacher to really instruct from. I think we need a better facility in which the students are all facing in one direction. We need updated facilities so that the labs can be better performed. We need safer situations because the current situation is not very safe, " said Kleparek.
Kleparek offered an option for school officials to consider that would modernize the lab and classroom and make it more functional and user friendly. "I've been to several workshops and talked to several different companies that design and build labs and found what I feel would be the best setup. We could have eight basic islands that the students are at, four students per island, to accommodate 32 students. Each island would be equipped with gas, water, electricity and hopefully computer resources as well. Those stations would be lab stations and a classroom station so this room could still be used as a classroom and when its lab time we can put away the classroom things and bring out the lab components," said Kleparek.
Board members have talked about asking the county commission for a budget amendment to get the upgrades done before school starts this fall. This issue may be discussed further at the school board meeting Thursday night, April 14th at 7:00 p.m. at Smithville Elementary School.