Members of the Edmond School Board voted to bring before voters a $93 million bond issue Feb. 12, 2019 to increase school security, upgrade and improve school buildings and fund the construction of classroom additions and new schools.
Nearly $40M of the bond issue would be used to purchase land and fund the construction of two elementary schools.
“Many of our elementary schools are full and we have had to bring in portable buildings in order to have adequate space for the students,” said Superintendent Bret Towne. “The construction of numerous apartment complexes in the Southwest quadrant of our district and large housing additions east of I-35 necessitates building new schools in these areas to accommodate for the growth in our elementary student population.”
The district has already purchased land at Douglas and Coffee Creek for an elementary school. Ideally, the district would like to build another elementary school in the far Southwest quadrant of the district in the Quail Springs Mall area. Absent from this year’s bond proposal is a request for funds to build a fourth high school.
“The student population of our secondary schools has not grown at the same rate as it has in our elementary schools. We believe the district’s focus should be on alleviating the congestion in our larger elementary schools, several of which now have between 900-1000 students.”
Other noteworthy updates and improvements in the 2019 bond proposal include $3.7M for enhanced safety features at schools. Last spring, the district formed a committee comprised of staff, students, parents, community members, law enforcement, and federal officials to review the district’s current security procedures and practices.
“Among the immediate improvements the committee recommended is implementing the use of student/staff photo ID cards at all secondary schools which would be used for card-swipe access to buildings, installing more video/audio buzz-in systems for patrons and visitors, and installing more video cameras on the exterior entries of schools to display images of individuals who approach school buildings,” said Towne. “We want to take every measure to protect students and staff.”
The breakdown of the Feb. 12, 2019 bond issue is as follows:
Technology – School Security- School Equipment
Technology: Purchase and install computers, digital devices, software, wireless networking equipment, phone systems, and technology support services. $10,000,000
School Equipment: Purchase fine arts and athletic equipment for secondary schools, library/media center books, software subscriptions, instructional equipment/materials, maintenance and school support vehicles, grounds equipment, woodshop equipment, and tennis center furnishings. $7,900,000
School Security: Improve and upgrade security as needed to include but not be limited to electronic security and door control devices,
shatter-resistant glass film, student/staff photo ID badges and card reader systems, and video surveillance camera systems. $3,700,000
HVAC: Improve HVAC systems at Angie Debo Elementary School, and Charles Haskell Elementary and Summit Middle School Gymnasiums. $2,000,000
Transportation: Construct access road, fueling station, and additional bus parking at the district transportation facility. $2,000,000
Roofing: Replace roofs of Cimarron Middle School and Washington Irving Elementary School. $1,900,000
Parking Lots/Roads: Construct, resurface and/or modify existing parking lots and access roads at North High School, John Ross Elementary, and Sunset Elementary School. $1,550,000
Flooring: Replace flooring as needed at Cimarron Middle School, Northern Hills Elementary School, Russell Dougherty Elementary School Clyde Howell Early Childhood Center, and Orvis Risner Elementary School. $800,000
Construct Elementary School East of I-35: Construct Phase 1 of an elementary school at S.E. corner of the intersection of Douglas and Coffee Creek. $18,000,000
Construct Elementary School Southwest Corner of the District: Construct Phase I of elementary school located in the Southwest quadrant of the district. $17,600,000
Purchase Land: Buy land for the site of new Southwest Elementary School and purchase properties to expand selected school sites as needed. $3,500,000
Cross Timbers Elementary School: Construct a STEM room and multi-purpose room/storm shelter. $3,000,000
Heritage Elementary School: Construct classroom addition/storm shelter. $2,850,000
Will Rogers Elementary: Construct multi-purpose room/storm shelter. $1,500,000
Heartland Middle School: Construct classrooms. $3,500,000
Summit Middle School: Construct classrooms/storm shelter. $2,700,000
Cheyenne Middle School: Construct a practice gymnasium. $2,100,000
Memorial High School: Improve and secure front entrance, add offices and classrooms, upgrade auditorium stage, lights and sound system. $3,100,000
Santa Fe High School: Upgrade auditorium stage, lights and sound system. $1,300,000
North High School: Upgrade auditorium stage, lights, and sound system. $1,300,000
Boulevard Academy: Renovate gymnasium. $400,000
Transportation Vehicles: Purchase small and large buses and high capacity sport utility vehicles.
Towne said passage of the bond issue is not planned to raise homeowner’s taxes. The district has planned this bond issue to keep the millage level between 24 and 25 mills.
“The timing of bond sales will coincide with the retirement of existing bonds to support the district’s objective of sustaining a stable millage rate.”
All registered voters who live within Edmond Public School district boundaries qualify to vote including those residents who live outside the city limits of Edmond. Individuals should vote at their regular precincts.