By Steve Pickett

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Keith Everett’s 3rd period band class meets in a peculiar location at W.T. White High School.

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“We utilize what we have,” Everett explains, while he leads 10 musicians through notes and stanzas in a narrow hallway.  “We work here because there’s no space,” he says.

Throughout the North Dallas campus, quadrants and closets typically reserved for storage are used for study. “There’s a class in the cafeteria.  The weight room is in a portable,” Principal Michelle Thompson points out.  Such is the life inside the 52-year-old high school were 2,300 students are enrolled.

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School advocates have continually complained about the aging condition of the building, and the school district has outlined critical facility needs and upgrades. The Dallas School Board has recently touted investing up to $52 million for South Oak Cliff High School after supporters demanded DISD build a new campus.

“First, it’s not fair. We need to look at all of our facilities, look at this globally,” trustee Edwin Flores said Tuesday inside W.T. White. (Flores represents White HS on the board).  Flores says studies outlined for bond money use indicates a need for infrastructure investment at White and two other DISD high schools. “I think we need to be emphasizing those schools first,” he noted.

South Oak Cliff High is not at enrollment capacity, while W.T. White High School is well beyond its capacity.  In fact, the school is currently under construction, a new wing will bring 22 new classrooms.  But Principal Thompson points out the addition replaces 26 portable classrooms on the campus.

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