Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 25 2014 at 5:30 PM, Updated: Tue, February 25 2014 at 6:18 PM
Klamath Falls, Ore. -- Voters in Klamath Falls could be asked in November to pay for a major renovation of Klamath Union High School.
Klamath Falls City Schools Maintenance Director Wayne Huggins believes K.U. is no longer repairable...
"It's old. It's very tired. And basically, it's seen better days."
"Basically, systems are failing in the building." Adds Klamath Falls City Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Hillyer. "Whether it's heating, cooling, plumbing."
A forum on renovating Klamath Union attracted about 100 people Monday night.
Superintendent Hillyer notes that the cost of the project is estimated at about 35 million dollars...
"We found out that it would cost about double to build a new school."
Klamath Union Principal Jeff Bullock adds: "I think it's a cost-effective plan."
The plan calls for full replacement of all plumbing, wiring, heating, and air conditioning.
The main entrance to the school would be shifted to the other side of the building.
And while the plan isn't cheap, Huggins notes that it could end up costing more to keep repairing the building...
"I think there's been band-aids put on over the years, and it's about time we get something done."
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.