Edmond Public Schools Seeking $91 Million Bond
EDMOND, Oklahoma - Edmond Public Schools is seeking to bring a nearly $91 million bond issue before voters next year, which would help put safe rooms in every school.
Each high school stadium would also be expanded as part of the deal, and school officials say the bond impacts each Edmond school in some way.
For the 680 students at Sunset Elementary School, there is no storm shelter. The school is over 60 years old, and for now, they make do.
"Right now our safety plan is hallways, bathrooms and just any interior rooms that we have here, we just get our kids in the safest places as possible," said Principal Dr. Kartina McDaniel.
A school bond issue would provide for the school's small library to be transformed into four classrooms, and a brand new media center would be built to serve as a safe room.
"To be able to have a library plus it being a storm shelter, I think is going to be a great, great thing," McDaniel said.
Sunset isn't the only school set to see major upgrades. Just about every school is in the Edmond Public School district, as long as the bond issue passes in February.
The bond totals at $90,660,000, which is split up into costs for new transportation, school equipment, technology.
It also covers special construction for schools like Heartland Middle School, Sunset Elementary School, North High School, Memorial High School and Santa Fe High School, which will have the most expensive upgrades costing $16,955,000.
“Every school will benefit in some way , if they don't receive a storm shelter, maybe it's technology, maybe it's a new roof, heating or cooling,” said Susan Parks-Schlepp, spokesperson for Edmond Public Schools.
In the last 5 years, the district has grown at about 550 students each year.
Due to the growth, the district plans to add a fourth high school around year 2020. It will provide the means for each high school stadium to be able to host its own football games.
"It gives our students home-field advantage and a real game-day experience right at their own home school," said Parks-Schlepp.
Santa Fe High School would be the first to have its stadium redone.
Currently, the school's bleachers hold about 800 to 1,000 people at the most. That's why all the football games are played at UCO's stadium. The school bond would add artificial turf, new bleachers and larger locker rooms.
Santa Fe would also get additional safe rooms and class rooms.
Construction could begin in the summer.
The bond issue is not expected to raise taxes.
Edmond Public Schools has passed more has 50 consecutive bond issues since the 1950's.
Parents will get to vote on the bond on Feb. 10, 2015.