Ardmore City Schools’ upcoming bond election will be held April 3.
The $44 million bond proposal is a reworked version of one that failed by a narrow margin in November.
The updated version includes plans for a performing arts center that would seat 800 and house drama, band, choir and dance classes among others.
Superintendent Kim Holland said after the bond failed the first time, the administration reached out to the community and re-evaluated what the districts’ needs were. As a result, they added plans for a new gymnatorium at Jefferson Elementary School to the bond issue.
“We always thought it was a need, but we got the chance to put it higher on the list,” Holland said. “We think it’s a beautiful design and something people will really be proud of.”
Currently, students use the cafeteria for PE classes during inclement weather. Holland said the new gymnatorium will be roughly the size of the ones at Charles Evans Elementary and Lincoln Elementary.
While the construction bond failed, a $2.5 million transportation bond that will be used to buy new buses for the district over time passed. A $4 million grant from the Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation covered part of the construction costs for the performing arts center, bringing down the overall cost and ensuring the new bond won’t cause millage to increase if the bond is approved by voters. Ardmore City Schools expressed gratitude for the gift in a statement.
“The tax rate went up when people passed the transportation bond,” Holland said. “If the new bond is passed, it will stay the same at 25 mils.”
The bond will also provide funds for foundation repair at Charles Evans Elementary School, replacements for the outdoor canopies at Ardmore High School, a handful of vehicle purchases not covered by the bus bond and other small updates.
If passed, construction on the performing arts center would start roughly 9 months after the vote. Holland said work on the Jefferson expansion could start as early as August.