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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | CENTRAL: ORANGE

New Books Will Ease Locker Woes

March 31, 1998|LESLEY WRIGHT

Middle school students will have a lot of memories from their time here, but the sound of banging lockers will not be among them.

Orange Unified School District trustees voted unanimously last week to pay $148,000 for duplicate sets of textbooks so they can keep several campuses free of lockers.

Long plagued by graffiti, lost combinations and contraband problems, the district's four middle schools banned lockers in the 1989-90 school year, administrators said.

Duplicate textbooks were bought at the time so students would not have to carry their books all day. But funding started drying up as textbook prices increased.

Students, parents complained, have been risking their spines just getting their books to school every day.

Replacing the lockers would cost about $176,000, Assistant Supt. Neil McKinnon said.

Administrators estimated it would cost an additional $30,000 per year, along with hours of labor, to maintain them.

"A heck of a lot of time is spent on lockers," McKinnon said.

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