The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 2, 2013

Voters to decide largest school bond election

$80M proposal includes remodeling, replacing, renovating schools

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third of three stories exploring various aspects of the $80 million bond proposal by Edmond Public Schools, to be considered by voters on Feb. 12. The first story examined proposed new construction within the school district. The second story described updating school security measures already in place and adding new ones and purchasing transportation vehicles. The stories may be found at

Voters will go to the polls Feb. 12 to decide the fate of an $80 million school bond proposal, Edmond Public Schools’ largest.

For more than half a century, beginning with the passage of a 1959 bond issue, Edmond voters have approved 54 consecutive bond issues.

Although a simple majority is required for all other governmental entities, Oklahoma law requires 60 percent approval of those voting in a school bond election.

This bond consists of two propositions. Proposition No. 1 for $78.21 million will fund the purchase of land for a new high school to be built within the next 10 years, fund a new elementary and a new middle school, pay for the maintenance and repair of existing facilities and purchase technology for classrooms. It also will cover updating school security measures already in place as well as making all elementary playgrounds comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Proposition No. 2 will go toward the purchase of buses and vehicles to be used to transport students to school and to extra-curricular activities.

The majority of the remodeling will be done at Orvis Risner and Sunset elementary schools and Memorial, North and Santa Fe high schools for a total cost of $10.1 million.

An additional $1.6 million will go for remodeling the district warehouse and additional parking spaces and a storage building at the administration building.

Remodeling at Orvis Risner Elementary School will include expanding, remodeling and equipping of selected classrooms, the main office, the media center, hallways and the cafeteria/kitchen for $2.5 million.

“We are looking at a complete remodel of the southern half of that building,” said Bret Towne, associate superintendent of general operations. “Orvis Risner was constructed in two parts. One in 1962 and the other in 1965. ... The kitchen and cafeteria are original to the school and it has been 50 years since they have been remodeled or upgraded.”

Towne said there is only one serving line in the cafeteria and now that the school has 691 students an additional serving line will help the students get in and out more quickly.

At Sunset Elementary, the district will have to expand, remodel and equip the cafeteria and kitchen at a cost of $1 million.

“The first phases of construction at Sunset were done in the early ’60s and there have been upgrades and remodeling in the past,” Towne said. “We are expanding the 50-year-old kitchen at Sunset, but a large part of the cost is the electrical feed for the entire building comes in there, and it will probably be advantageous at that time to move the electrical to a different part of the building.”

Memorial High School will see remodeled science and other classrooms, hallways and gym seating for a $2.5 million price tag.

“Areas we are looking at were constructed in the ’70s and ’80s,” Towne said. “The gym, constructed in the early ’70s, will receive new bleachers, replacing those that were original to the gym.”

North High School will see remodeling of corridors, the auditorium and lobby, restrooms and lockers as well as science room upgrades for $2.5 million.

“We are still making changes to a building that was constructed in the mid ’70s as a middle school and mid-high,” Towne said. “The auditorium, constructed in the mid 1990s, will see flooring in that area as well as hallways replaced with terrazzo tile as lockers and hall tile are upgraded. We are trying to tie in the school and upgrade all at once.”

Santa Fe High School will see selected remodeling in restrooms, seating expansion in the freshman cafeteria, gymnasiums, flooring, wrestling area and the orchestra roof replaced for a cost of $2.6 million.

“Constructed in the early ’90s, to keep up with student growth we will be expanding the freshman academy and replacing flooring in the auditorium and orchestra area. The wrestling program has expanded and there is a need for space to work out in. We will be using existing space under the bleachers for the wrestling rooms. Restrooms and lobbies in the competition gym will also be renovated.”

Towne said with this round of improvements and a few additional items for repair in subsequent bond issues, the three high schools will all be up to the same high quality before construction begins on a fourth high school in the future.

The district warehouse will have a remodel and conversion of the vacated Maintenance facility to a custodial building and district warehouse and receiving center for $850,000.

Towne said this will be the final phase of upgrades for support facilities. The Board and Training Center will have additional parking spaces and a storage building will be added for $750,000.

“This will be used to store files and later transition into office space as the district’s needs grow,” Towne said.

Athletic improvements will include repair and resurfacing North’s and Santa Fe’s running tracks and recoating Memorial’s running tracks for a total of $475,000.

North High School and Russell Dougherty and Northern Hills elementary schools will have roofs replaced for $1.7 million.

“We like to replace roofs and HVAC units every 20 to 25 years,” Towne said.

Sunset Elementary School and Cimarron Middle School will have HVAC replacement for $1.535 million.

Cheyenne and Summit middle schools will have replacement of existing carpet and tile for $1.25 million.

Cheyenne was occupied in 2000 and the carpet is original to the school, Towne said.

“We would like to replace carpet every seven to nine years,” Towne said. “We will be replacing the carpet with carpet squares so if a portion is damaged we can replace one carpet square rather than replace a whole room of carpet.” | 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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