Voters decided in May that $31 million for Ardmore City Schools was a good thing.
Turns out, it's even better than they expected.
Property owners in the Ardmore City Schools District will pay less taxes than expected because the district is already saving money.
On Monday, the district sold $4,095,000 in building bonds to BancFirst in Ardmore at an average interest rate of 0.79 percent. It was the lowest bid, with the others ranging from 1 percent to 1.42 percent.
The district had estimated and budgeted the interest rate to be about 2.8 percent.
"This is good for taxpayers because taxes will be lower than expected," said Superintendent Sonny Bates.
Other bids came from American National Bank in Ardmore, First National Bank and Trust Company of Ardmore and Country Club Bank in Prairie Village, Kan.
"We were pleased local banks took the time to bid on this project," Bates said.
Funds will not be received until August, but district officials are getting everything they can lined up now.
District officials plan for all projects to be completed by the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.
"It's going very well," said board vice president Lucinda Hull. "I'm pleased it is going so smoothly, and I am anxious to get started building."
The building part of the projects is under the administration of Architects in Partnership.
On Tuesday, the school board hired Burgess Engineering and Testing, Inc. for subsurface exploration, foundation and pavement recommendations, and Fox Engineering for surveying, mapping and civil engineering services.
The classroom addition at Jefferson Elementary and the new roof on Ardmore Middle School will be the first projects completed.
Architects are meeting with Jefferson staff to get input for the addition.
"We are trying to include everyone, so we are getting teacher and staff input," Bates said, adding that staff members at other sites will be consulted before final plans are made at their schools.
In May 2014, the district will commence with the new Lincoln Elementary, track replacement and Noble Stadium repairs.
Construction for Lincoln is expected take about 18 months. When school lets out in May 2015, items will be moved from the old building and into the new building, and the old school will be torn down to make way for the new playground, parking lot and student loading areas.
The Noble Stadium project will be completed during summer 2014 to avoid conflicts with the athletic season.
During the 2014-15 school year, the additions at Will Rogers Elementary and Charles Evans Elementary will be underway.
District officials are also posting updates on the bond issue on the district website, www.ardmoreschools.org, and the Facebook page, Ardmore City Schools.
"We are trying to keep our public informed and on board and excited about the bond," Bates said.