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Owasso School Bond Vote: Oct. 10

By EMILY RAMSEY
Managing Editor

PROPOSED ELEMENTARY: A rendering of Morrow Elementary, the school district’s ninth elementary school, which would be funded by the Oct. 10 bond issue, if passed by Owasso patrons. The school would be located on 116th Street North between 129th East Avenue and Highway 169.


Courtesy Owasso Public Schools


On Oct. 10, Owasso Public Schools patrons will go to the polls regarding passage of the largest school bond issue to date: $57 million.

The bond issue, if passed, will include construction of a new elementary school, the addition of two safe rooms to existing schools, and technology and facility upgrades.
In the order of dollar amount, the bond issue items are:

New school — Morrow Elementary
Cost: $23,500,000
Morrow Elementary will sit on 116th Street North between 129th East Avenue and Highway 169 and help to alleviate continued student growth, Owasso Superintendent Dr. Clark Ogilvie says.

Currently, Owasso Public Schools has about 9,800 students with a current total capacity of 10,400.

The school’s name comes from the previous owners of the land, who sold the acreage to the school district in 2006 for well below market price, continues Ogilvie, with the only condition that the school be named after the family.

“The land is a historic landmark, with the house being built around the time of Oklahoma statehood.”

The school would include an F-5 safe room gym, with safe rooms being a continued focus of the school district through both new construction and building renovations.

“While adding a safe room to any school project adds about 15 percent to the price,” Ogilvie says, “safe rooms have become an expectation of the community.”

If the bond issue is passed, construction on the elementary school would begin in spring 2018 and open in fall 2019.

Construction of High School West Campus (Mid-High) Science Wing and F-5 Safe Gym
Cost: $8,700,000

“These safe gyms are built to withstand a direct hit by a tornado,” says Ogilvie.

The Mid-High’s existing gym would be kept in order to provide additional gymnasium space.

Turf Replacement and Installation
Cost: $5,450,000

Turfs will be added or replaced, including replacement of the High School football field turf and adding turf to a portion of the High School’s track area, to allow for a practice area for the band.

Administrative Center Renovation/Expansion
Cost: $4,710,000

“Our current service center does not represent our district adequately,” Ogilvie says.

The center would be expanded and renovated, including the construction of a two-story building to replace the existing pre-fab buildings.

Smith Elementary F-5 Safe Gym Construction
Cost: $3,330,000

Smith Elementary’s current gymnasium would be preserved to provide additional gymnasium space.

Technology
Cost: $3 million
“This is our first bond issue ever to have more funding going to technology than to textbooks,” Ogilvie says.

The money would pay for various technology upgrades throughout the district, such as new equipment, security measures, and wifi improvements.

“Many of our students do not have wifi at home, so they need good access at school,” says Ogilvie.

Regarding an example of facility upgrades, Ogilvie references the generators at the High School that were installed in summer 2016. In case of a power outage, the generators would provide back-up power for one week.

“We want to put more things like that in place throughout the district.”

Facility Upgrades
Cost: $2,500,000

Upgrades include windows, HVAC and electrical systems.

Textbooks/Materials
Cost: $2 million

Transportation—replacement of aging school buses
Cost: $2 million

Bond Issuance Fee
Cost: $500,000

Student Safety Needs
Cost: $500,000

Library Materials
Cost: $310,000

Band Instruments
Cost: $250,000

The school district’s largest extracurricular program is its band program, with over 1,000 kids in grades 6-12.

This will help us to provide instruments especially for those families who rely on the district to have the band equipment, because they can’t afford to buy it, says Ogilvie.

Copiers
Cost: $250,000

Since 2008, state education aid in Oklahoma has been decreased by 27 percent, and in the past three years, Owasso Public Schools has lost approximately $3 million in state aid, but Owasso is growing in students, Ogilvie says.

“That’s why the bond issues are more important than ever.”

Owasso patrons will have the opportunity to make their voice heard on Oct. 10.

Updated 10-05-2017

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