The most expensive project on the list of proposed bond items is a new Lincoln Elementary School building, but each site has a project on the list.
The new Lincoln, a new addition at Jefferson and improvements at Charles Evans would equalize the enrollments at all three elementaries, with 500 students at Charles Evans and 400 students each at Lincoln and Jefferson. Currently, Charles Evans has over 700 students, while Lincoln and Jefferson have under 300 students each.
"The bond could level out the elementaries so nobody is huge, and it would truly make all three of them neighborhood schools again," said Lincoln Principal Ellen Patty.
Other projects include an addition at Will Rogers, a new roof at the middle school and resurfacing of the high school track.
If passed, the $31 million bond would be issued in series, raising the property tax by 15 mills. A taxpayer who pays $500 in annual property taxes would have an increase of $96.12 for the year or $8.01 monthly increase.
Lincoln would have a completely new two-story building ($12,878,930) that would sit on the northwest corner of the property. The current building is a one-story on the southeast corner.
According to Patty, the following issues would be addressed by building a new school:
Cafeteria — Currently, lunch lasts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. because only one class can fit in the cafeteria at a time. The new cafeteria would have more than double that capacity, thus saving time in the school day.
Gymatorium — The entire student body has trouble fitting in the current gymatorium. Recent evening programs have been standing-room only because of the lack of space. The new gymatorium would seat the entire audience.
Portables — There are two portables which house classes. Drainage issues make traveling to and from the building difficult. Also, teachers have to accompany any student that needs to travel from a portable to the main building because outside doors are locked to stop intruders. The new building would allow for all classes to be inside the building and eliminate the portables.
Classrooms — Every regular classroom is currently in use. The new building would allow for more classes to be added, such as the projected need to add another first-grade class in the fall.
Conference space — Counselors and other specialists that need to work with students often have to work with their clients in the nurse's office and hallways because there is no where else. Also, the principal's office is too small to meet with more than three people at a time. A conference room would allow all meetings to have space and privacy.
Page 2 of 4 - Parking — Teachers and visitors currently have to park on the streets around the school. The new building would move all parking off the street.
Loading and unloading students — Students are currently dropped off and picked up along the street, essentially blocking F Street SW during arrival and dismissal times. The new school would feature an off-street loop, alleviating the traffic jam. Also, a covered walkway would shelter students and teachers during inclement weather.
Electricity — The addition of more electronic devices is currently limited due to the old wiring in the building. For example, a snack machine cannot be added to the teachers lounge without unplugging the copier because it would blow a breaker. The new building would allow for new technology to be added, which is needed for online state testing.
Office — The office is currently located down the hall from the front door, which is a safety concern. The new building would put the office at the front door.
With the upcoming bond issue, Jefferson would receive a new addition ($2,321,466) that would include seven classrooms, a music room, an art room and a set of restrooms. The current building would also be remodeled ($1,142,783).
Music teacher Robin Spriggs currently teaches classes on the school's stage, with her desk located slightly off-stage.
"It's difficult because I feel like I am unorganized and it's hard for students to focus because of the noise," she said.
The room also serves as the cafeteria and gym, which disrupts the music courses.
"We're only separated by a curtain and students are not able to concentrate," Spriggs said. "Students will ask me if the students in PE could be quieter, but I have to remind them that you can't play a game and be silent."
Currently, both fifth-grade classrooms are in portable classrooms.
The size and capabilities of the portables does not allow for SMARTboards to be installed.
Also, the desks are small, generally the types used in younger grades instead of bigger ones that can fit fifth-grade textbooks. Time each day has to be spent passing out textbooks since students don't have room for them.
"We have a small room with big bodies. My fifth-graders are as big as I am," said fifth-grade teacher Lori Hoke.
In addition, another portable has been subdivided to include rooms for AIMS, Title I, Indian education tutoring and Payne Reading Tutor, plus music storage.
"Everywhere we can get space, we have, but we've run out of it," said Principal Kristi Jessop.
The addition would increase school capacity to 400 students and eliminate the portables.
Page 3 of 4 -
Charles Evans Elementary
Charles Evans will receive a gymatorium addition ($2,368,788) and site/drainage improvements ($249,750).
Currently, students have physical education in two different locations because there isn't the space in any one place.
Recess when is rains is also an issue. Not only do students have to be inside when it rains, but also for a few days after because of drainage issues.
The gymatorium would be big enough to have everyone inside together.
"Students can get the exercise they need on a daily basis," said Assistant Principal Jake Falvey.
Moving PE out of the current gymatorium would also allow the music classes to use the stage for practice.
"Right now, we have to schedule times that don't overlap, and that doesn't really work on bad weather days" said music teacher Patti Green. "We would have to haul the sound system to the cafeteria to practice on rainy days, which is time consuming."
The gymatorium would also be big enough to house the entire school for an assembly. Currently, the school has two separate Rise and Shine assemblies because of space constraints.
"It will add to the unity of the school building," Falvey said. "Schools are a unifying force, and we have no opportunity to have our children together unless it's outside on a great day."
Also, the temporary walls will be replaced with permanent walls.
Will Rogers Elementary
Will Rogers will receive a gymatorium and classroom addition ($3,732,480) and updating of the original building ($220,000).
The current building is restricted to 625 people due to fire code regulations. The current 593 students plus 71 staff members meant that portables had to be added this year. Projections for next school year have enrollment remaining the same.
"With this addition, we won't be over fire code and we would have everyone in the building," said Principal Paula Horn.
Even with the two portables which have two classrooms each, several programs share rooms. Indian education and Title I are together. English-language learners and tutoring are together, as well as occupational therapy and speech therapy.
The six-classroom addition would eliminate the portables and the doubling up of programs.
Two of the new classrooms would be for special education.
"We would have actually functioning special education rooms that can accommodate wheelchairs, strollers and walkers," Horn said.
Also, when it rains, recess and physical education are in the cafetorium. The gymatorium would house PE, leaving the cafetorium just for eating.
Ardmore Middle School
The middle school roof would be replaced for $322,500 with the passage of the bond issue.
Page 4 of 4 - According to Head custodian Jerry Biggers, leaks occur in nearly every room in the building, creating a "never-ending battle."
Every time it rains, custodial staff have to put out buckets to catch the rain water, mark wet spots with signs and mop up water from new leaks.
"I've got my men motivated, but we could be doing something else, like floors or windows. We could be in other places we are needed," Biggers said. "Water can take all day, so I wish they would put a roof on because it is time consuming."
Standing water, which can occur when it rains on the weekends, can also damage the floors. In addition, water can be a safety hazard.
"Kids fall," Biggers said. "We don't find every leak right away, which makes it unsafe by the time we get to it."
Ardmore High School
Noble Stadium will have a new track surface ($189,000) as well as fieldhouse and stadium repairs ($450,516).
In high school and middle school, about 140 students run track and about 50 students run cross country.
In addition, several other groups and events utilize the track — the Southern Oklahoma Track Club at HFV Wilson Community Center, the A2A Marathon and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Association Class 3A and 4A State Track Meet.
The school also annually hosts a varsity track meet and a middle school track meet.
"We wouldn't host the state track meet again without resurfacing," said Athletic Director Doug Wendel. "It will depend on the summer if we have our own track meets, but no matter what, we still have 140 kids out here running every day this spring."
With the bond, the track would be scraped completely off and replaced.
"Right now, there is not an imminent danger, but in the summer the cracks get wider," Wendel said. "If a spike gets stuck in there, it's bad."
Also, a crack runs up and down the westside of the fieldhouse. Cracks and discoloration of concrete also exist in the stands.