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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Bond options come to light

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  • jennifer.lindsey@ardmoreite.com
    After over a year of planning, Ardmore City Schools is preparing to present a bond proposal to voters.
    The board hired Stephen H. McDonald and Associates to be the district’s financial advisor and heard a report on long-range needs.
    Evening events will be scheduled at each school site over the next couple of weeks to gather input from parents and the community on the drawings.
    Bates said the idea will be to hear suggestions and then include them or explain why it won’t work.
    Possible plans have already been shared with faculty and staff, who Bates said came up with the design for the bus loading loops and arrangement of classrooms.
    “Now we are seeking community input, so they can make it theirs,” Bates said. “Until we do that, we are not going any further.”
    Stephen Ryan of Trigon General Contractors presented a Long-Range Planning Update for the district, outlining different possibilities of things needed at each site.
    His report included the findings of the five committees — Steering, Facilities, Curriculum, Finance and Communications — formed in October 2011. The committees included community members, board members, district administration, teachers and staff.
    “The focus has been on having high achievement for all students, which includes the three A’s — academics, arts and athletics,” Ryan said. “With as long as its been since Ardmore passed a bond issue, every site needs more space to meet federal requirements and state requirements.”
    The next step, Ryan said, was to prioritize the possible projects and estimate funding limits, which will be done by the new financial advisor.
    District growth was also evident when Treasurer Kelly Shannon said state mid-term adjustment funding saw an increase of $652,954.
    “Student growth increased, so there was an increase in state aid,” Shannon said.
    The recent addition of portable classrooms to accommodate growth at several sites is something officials would like to avoid.
    The list of possible projects included things at every site.
    “This is all that we need in 10 years to accommodate growth,” Bates said.
    Two different options have been presented for Lincoln Elementary. One would be renovating the current building. The other is to build a two-story school to the northeast of the current building. Such a project would take place during the school year, with classes going on in the current building. Then, during the summertime when the new building is complete, the old building would be demolished.
    Ryan said something to note about Lincoln was the desire of the community to preserve the historical aspect of the building, create separate bus and car loading lanes that are off the street, add a parking lot and improve traffic flow.
    Page 2 of 2 - At the high school, a proposed performing arts center would include a 1,200-seat auditorium, a smaller theater, practice rooms, classrooms for band, choir and orchestra and an art gallery. A location has not been finalized, but the proposal suggested placing the building between the high school and middle school.
    Other possible high school projects possible are an administration/counselors office suite and additional classrooms.
    The middle school needs to have the roof repaired or replaced and possibly an addition to include classrooms, an auxiliary gymnasium and weight room, since the current weight room is occupied by the In-School Suspension Program.
    At Jefferson, additional classrooms, separate bus and car loading zones, off-street parking, a gymnasium and upgrades to the kitchen were listed.
    Charles Evans Elementary is looking at adding a gymnasium large enough to fit a physical education class or indoor recess. Other possibilities include additional classrooms, removing the temporary walls put up nine years ago and improving the site’s drainage.
    At Will Rogers, possible plans include separating the bus and car loading zones, a gymnasium addition and additional classrooms.
    At the athletic fields, there is a possible addition to the fieldhouse to include locker rooms for teams that don’t haveone, a new track surface and installing artificial turf.
    Other miscellaneous possible projects include four new school buses, new technology, furniture, fixtures and equipment for the new rooms, the demolition of Franklin Elementary building and a bus maintenance facility.

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