Sterling High Senior Lonnie Hilson wanted to get a message out to as many people as he could when he reached out to FOX 26 News.
"I hope you can come to Sterling and let our community know how desperate we are in need of an up to date our campus.
No one wants to come to a dirt or inadequate campus and expect to accomplish grade "a" work," Hilson said in an email.
We listened and traveled to the south side to hear his case. Hilson started in the server room near a school library plagued by inadequate electrical wiring.
"The problem is our campus is so old, we don't have enough outlets to support this. What we've done is we've got a bunch of extension cords and we use this outside outlet here, so basically if a student were to come in the library to plug in a laptop, they could actually unplug this and shut down our whole school," he said, pointing to a tangle of cords spanning two different rooms.
Our next stop was at an administrative office with an exposed pipe extending downward from the ceiling, spilling water into a sink.
"The roof has been repaired so many times from the same spot, the same leak, you just can't do any more," Hilson said. "You see something like this and you say, ‘Is this what I deserve? Do I deserve to come to a school with holes in the ceiling'?"
He said the floors at Sterling High are clearly sinking and have been for quite some time. As evidence, he pointed to a classroom wall with a three-inch gap between the floor and wall.
"If you get a note, you can actually slide it through to the next classroom," he said. "Instant messaging Sterling-style."
In the cafeteria, the flooring had buckled and sunken, leaving a visible slope. Hilson pulled out a plastic ball and set it on the floor.
"As you can see, the ball is moving and at a normal school, that shouldn't happen," he said.
There are other problems at the 47-year-old campus for which patches have provided only temporary relief.
"The air conditioning leaks and it leaks on the ceiling tile and it creates mold and just an unbearable sight. This thing could fall down at any moment. You have the water leaking right now," Hilson said as he pointed to a panel in main hallway.
Even if the bond money doesn't come through, he will never attend a new Sterling High. In eight months, he'll be gone but clearly, that hasn't kept him from caring.
"Because I know that I had to deal with this for four years now and I don't want to see this next generation coming in and having to deal with the same problems thinking this is the norm when they come into high school when it's not."