The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 8, 2012

$80M school bond issue on table

Largest bond ever to build schools, purchase land for high school

EDMOND — Edmond Public Schools Board of Education members voted Monday to submit an $80 million bond issue to the vote of the people in February.

The February bond issue will include funds for elementary school No. 17 and middle school No. 6 as well an addition to elementary school No. 16, Frontier Elementary, two years after the school opens.

Elementary school No. 17 will be located between Cross Timbers and Centennial elementary schools on Sorghum Mill Road and built at a cost of about $16.5 million, Associate Superintendent of District Operations Bret Towne said.

Superintendent David Goin said the district has grown by well more than 2,000 students since 2008. That means 10 percent of Oklahoma’s growth of 22,000 students since 2008 has been in Edmond.

Edmond’s population has grown from 68,315 in 2000 to 83,019 in 2011 according to Edmond Economic Development Authority.

Centennial, built in 2007, was the most recent elementary school built, Goin told board members, and the area is projected for continued growth. The last middle school was opened in 1999.

“The last bond issue was in 2011 and pending passage of Bond Issue 2013, plans are to schedule the next bond issue in 2014,” Goin said.

“Over the past 13 years, the EPS sinking fund rates have varied less than 1.2 mills,” Goin said. “We expect a projected growth in property values and with the retirement of other bonds the funding of the bond issue will be spread over the next five years. It is anticipated the passage of this bond issue would mean a stable tax rate for patrons.”

Oklahoma law requires 60 percent approval of votes cast for school bonds. Edmond voters have approved 54 consecutive bond issues beginning with passage of a 1959 issue, Goin said.

Where the money goes

Bond issue money will go toward meeting the needs of students including expanding the facilities to accommodate growth, maintaining and upgrading existing facilities and supplementing the General Fund for academics and co-curriculum programs.

Proposition No. 1 of the bond issue for $78,210,000 would be used to provide funds for improving and acquiring school sites, constructing, repairing, remodeling and equipping school buildings including school furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Included in the proposition would be:

• Computers, software and technology related equipment, $6.8 million;

• Roofing at North High School, Russell Dougherty Elementary and Northern Hills Elementary, $1.7 million;

• Improved school security at Boulevard Academy, Memorial, North and Santa Fe high schools and Angie Debo, Centennial, Northern Hills and West Field elementary schools, $400,000;

• Athletic and fine arts equipment and child nutrition kitchen equipment, maintenance vehicles and library/media center books, software subscriptions, instructional equipment and materials and textbooks, $3.5 million;

• HVAC replacement and improvement at Sunset Elementary and Cimarron Middle Schools, $1,535,000;

• Flooring at Cheyenne and Summit middle schools, $1.25 million;

• A 6-classroom addition to Elementary No. 16, currently under construction, $2.1 million;

• Elementary No. 17 — Phase 1 construction of the school to be located on Sorghum Mill east of Broadway, approximately 75,000 square feet; initially at least 25 classrooms, restrooms, administrative area, media center, cafeteria, kitchen, gymnasium, parking and associated infrastructure, $16.5 million;

• Orvis Risner Elementary — expanding, remodeling and equipping of the cafeteria and kitchen, remodeling and improving selected classrooms, hallways and the media center, $2,550,000;

• Sunset elementary — expanding, remodeling and equipping existing kitchen, $1 million;

• Memorial High School — improving and remodeling selected science rooms, hallways and classrooms and replacement of seating in the competitive gym, $2.5 million;

• North High School — improving and remodeling including installation of terrazzo flooring in the auditorium lobby, upgrading the hallway including some lockers, wall tile, lights and restrooms and upgrading science rooms, $2.5 million;

• Santa Fe High School remodeling of some restrooms, expansion of Freshman Academy cafeteria seating, new flooring in the auditorium, band and orchestra area and Freshman Academy science rooms, wrestling room expansion and locker room improvements, improvements and repairs to the competition gym, lobby and practice gym, replacement of roof over orchestra classrooms, $2.6 million;

• Support facility improvements, including converting the vacated maintenance building into the district’s custodial building and central receiving warehouse, $850,000;

• Edmond Public Schools Administrative Center work, including additional parking lot and storage building, $750,000;

• Land purchase for constructing a future high school campus, $3.2 million;

• High school track improvements for all three high schools, $475,000;

• ADA playgrounds installations at Chisholm, Clegern, Cross Timbers, Will Rogers, Charles Haskell, Northern Hills, Washington Irving, Ida Freeman, West Field, Centennial and Angie Debo elementary schools, $1 million.

Proposition No. 2 would include $1,790,000 for the purpose of purchasing transportation equipment including large and small school buses and suburbans.

If the bond passes, construction on the new elementary could begin in the spring and potentially be open by August 2014, Towne said.

More details on the bond issue can be found at | 341-2121

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Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

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