The Edmond Sun

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December 2, 2007

Classrooms top school needs list

$28.9 million bond election set for Dec. 11

EDMOND — Edmond voters will be asked to go to the polls Dec. 11 and vote for a $28.9 million bond package broken into two propositions.

Proposition No. 1 lists 14 items including $28 million for classroom additions and school improvements, the purchase of land for future school sites and the purchase of computers, software and support systems. Proposition No. 2 for $900,000 is earmarked for transportation including the purchase of buses.

“While no new schools are included within the slate of projects, the provision of additional elementary and middle school classrooms is a significant focus of this bond issue,” Superintendent David Goin said.

Some of the money will go toward early childhood development with the addition of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms. Even though the state has touted a 4-year-old education program, many school districts like Edmond still are phasing the program in due to lack of classroom space.

If passed, part of the bond money also will be used to add classrooms to four elementary and one middle school as well as kitchens at two of the elementary schools.

“Some of the schools are completely full,” Associate Superintendent of District Operations Bret Towne said. “Charles Haskell Elementary School is our largest and fastest-growing school with more than 900 students.

“We added 11 rooms two years ago and the children are out in the portable buildings again.”

Northern Hills Elementary has seven portables and Chisholm Elementary has three portables. The district has more than 50 portables buildings at all levels, elementary, middle school and high school.

“All of the portable buildings we own are in use,” Towne said, “and in addition we are renting others.”

There are drawbacks to portable classrooms including no restrooms, heat and air are window units and it is hard to keep the units secure after school hours.

Centennial Elementary, the district’s newest school, opened this year with a projected enrollment of 400 students.

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