As a 26 year resident of LC (from back east) here's my input:
-Beautiful environment, awesome weather (hot summers!), small-city feel with very, very nice people and a diverse culture (Hispanics are around 55%, Anglos 40%, rest 5%)
-Lots of outdoor and nature activities, although cooler temps require a short 2-4 hr drive for "field trips"
-A great state University that brings even more diversity, culture and art into the community (inexpensive compared to most and could be good if you need to take any pre-reqs) you're kid will rub elbows with kids who parents are PhD's and never know it because they are so down to earth here on this campus.
-Public schools that may not be rated "top notch", but generally have really caring and hard-working teachers (especially in the K-5 grades). Almost all kids here attend public schools, so we still have a nice balance of socio-economics which keeps the quality up. Bottom line: If you are an involved parent they can get great educations
-very active and extensive Catholic Church influence, including a private school
-Two private local hospitals with average quality services, but we always rank in the lower tier of competitive pay. My hospital also serves more indigent and uninsured patients, which means we are always tight--we function on love, not money in my ICU. :-) Our hospital recently went through growing pains when it expanded from 20 to 40 beds and started catering to cardiac services, but things have calmed down a bit. Our Director and Program Managers are really nice, smart and decent guys.
-Crime here is pretty predictable for an area with quite a few low income people. Which is to say the majority of crime is about someone stealing something--non-violently--from you. Burglaries are up lately but they are everywhere else, too, given the economy. Yes, unfortunately, we have had our share of tragic murders and other violent crime stories over the years, but from my point of view, this is a pretty safe city, as long as you do the normal things everyone does to avoid being a victim.
-Medium cost of living. Utilities can be high in summer. Home rentals are affordable for a very nice apartment for a family (2bd for about 600-700/mo). Houses can be anywhere from 750 up, but nice, newer ones would be around 800-900.
Hope this is helpful!