The Edmond Sun

Local News

October 3, 2012

School board considers possible bond items

EDMOND — Monday night Associate Superintendent of District Operations Bret Towne presented the Edmond Board of Education with a 7-Year Planning document for consideration. Parts of the document will be placed on the next bond election.

The Edmond Public School district is in the planning process for its next bond issue package, which will not be presented to voters until early 2013.

“This document is just for planning and guidance at this point,” Towne said. “This is just one of the documents which the board considers when formulating bond issues. Other artifacts would be school enrollments and capacities, facility observations, new housing developments and planned replacement of equipment. This document is very fluid, but the closer to the year of the vote, the more likely the items are to be placed on the bond issue.”

Among items being considered for an upcoming bond issue are additional play areas at the elementary schools and making elementary playgrounds ADA accessible, Towne said.

Other items being considered include the additions to, renovation of or remodeling of schools across the district including Cross Timbers, Orvis Risner, Centennial, Ida Freeman, Clegern, Northern Hills and Sunset elementary schools, Central and Cheyenne middle schools and all three high schools; resurfacing tracks, building a 17th elementary school, updating technology, replacing HVAC units, purchasing and updating transportation, upgrading the three high schools, renovation of the custodial building, increasing parking at the Edmond Public Schools Administration Center and purchasing property for a new high school.

Growth continues

“We are looking at the growth of Logan County at this time with new neighborhoods being built,” Towne said. “With more than 50 percent of the students attending Cross Timbers coming from Logan County, the largest impact of additional students will be to Cross Timbers.”

Licensing for technology accounts for more than $1 million of the budget each year, Towne said.

“An 80,000-square-foot elementary school No. 17 is planned in north Edmond between Cross Timbers and Centennial,” Towne said.

Bond funds from the 2011 bond issue are paying for elementary school No. 16 on Pennsylvania between Danforth and Covell.

Towne told board members renovation takes place across the district continually.

At the high schools, Towne said there are about 12 to 15 items at each school and funding would include renovation of restrooms, classrooms, science labs, flooring and lockers.

“We will be replacing flooring in the band area at Santa Fe to bring the quality up to that at North and Memorial,” Towne said. “We will also be expanding the freshman academy cafeteria.”

North students are still using the same science labs as when the school was originally built as a middle school, Towne added and at Memorial the science rooms are 20-30 years old.

The renovation of an old building for custodial purposes will make it possible to move all support services to the same location.

In addition the administration building will see new storage and parking.

Towne estimated the total of the above items to be close to $41.5 million.

Towne said at this time elementary school No. 17 is scheduled to open August of 2014 with the middle school opening August of 2015.

“The middle school cannot be built in 12 months,” Towne said. “It will take 15 to 18 months to complete it.”

“The new middle school would start with sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, about three-quarters of the student population we would see eventually,” Towne said, “and would cost about $27 million.”

The projected cost of the new high school was estimated by Towne to be around $75 million.

“Yukon spent around $75 million on their newly completed high school, although it is not as large as what we will be building,” Towne said. “Our facility will need to be built for 2,500 to 3,000 students.”

Towne added the final decision of the items on the bond issue will be up to members of the board of education. He added that in order to meet the needs of the school district a funding source is required.

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