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Voters Pass Bond To Build New Seminole High School

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SEMINOLE, Okla. -

After two failed attempts, voters in Seminole passed a $21.6 million bond Tuesday to pay for the construction of a new high school. Election results show 69 percent of voters supported the proposal.

Currently, almost 500 students fill the classrooms of the temporary school facility each day, after structural issues forced them out of the old school building. While the space is fully functional, it’s not ideal long term.

“We’ve got them crammed into 25,000 square feet,” said superintendent Alfred Gaches. “We have to have unique challenges in bussing them to a cafeteria, bussing them to a gymnasium, and bussing them to a science class every once in a while, and band.”

Gaches said the most recent bond proposal evolved out of the district’s strategic plan, which was developed by community members.

“We are excited and it speaks highly of our community,” said Gaches.

Among other features, the new school will have a cafeteria, gymnasium, band classrooms, and plenty of space. It’s set to be built on 40 acres off of Highway 9.

“We are looking at 86,000 square feet," Gaches said, "and that will give us, not only enough space for current students but any anticipated growth that we might have."

Property owners will pay a tax increase of about 34.5 percent, according to Gaches, but it's reportedly a return to levels from nearly a decade ago.

“As recently as 2008, our voters were paying that. Our property owners were paying the same amount that we asked them to pay now.”

The superintendent said they hope to start breaking ground in the next four to six months and be in the new building in 2019.

“We made the best of a bad situation but we’re so happy and proud that our community responded for our need.”

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