By KENDRA BLEVINS
TROJAN AQUATIC CENTER: This is an artists depiction of what the current pool facility south of the Performing Arts Center on the high school campus will look like once it is completed with funds from the lease revenue bond, if it passes Dec. 9.
The Jenks School board unanimously approved the largest school bond issue in state history October 9. The $153 million bond issue is different from previous issues because it is a lease revenue bond, which will allow the district to quickly address their construction needs, meaning that today’s Jenks students will reap the benefits.
Among the items on the long list of the lease revenue bond, which is slated for a Dec. 9 election, is the Trojan Aquatic Center. Construction started nine years ago but inflation drained the funds for the project. An advantage of the lease revenue bond is that projects will be completed faster and locked into current construction costs therefore avoiding future inflation. Using the normal bonding process can take five years or more before one construction project is completed, but the lease revenue bond will allow the district to complete all construction projects within five years.
Board member Joe Hidy says, “Today is a historic day. This is a win, win, win situation for everyone.”
Board member Anne McCoy says, “I’ve no received negative input, it’s all positive. Taxes won’t increase. We’re a flourishing school that’s reaching its limits.”
Superintendent of Schools Kirby Lehman says that growing enrollment, class size and student projections are part of the reasons for the proposal. At the elementary level there are over 170 classrooms that are above state mandated class size, at the middle school level there are 28 teachers who have more than 140 students per day and almost every classroom at the South East campus is overcrowded.
“We want our kids to continue performing the way they have been,” says Lehman. “That’s why we’re asking the community to pass this long list of lease revenue items.”