District to hold $19.4 million bond election
BY DAVID SCHULTE World Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Union Public Schools will hold a $19.4 million school bond election March 4 to fund improvements to school facilities and finish its new elementary school.
The election, approved by the school board during a recent meeting, consists of a bond package containing two separate propositions.
If voters approve the bond package, it will not raise taxes, said Superintendent Cathy Burden.
The first proposition is for $17.83 million for school improvements, and the second is for $1.57 million for buses, she said.
Each proposition must receive 60 percent approval from voters in the district.
Ed Payton, Union board president, said the list of improvements represented needs throughout the district.
"The items came through a process that included principals, department heads and parents," he said.
Included in proposition one is $1.9 million for furniture, fixtures and technology equipment at the district's 13th elementary school, which is under construction between 81st and 91st streets and between Garnett Road and U.S. 169.
The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2008, Burden said.
The most costly item on the list of projects is a new addition to the district's baseball and softball complex at the campus of the Intermediate High School, 7616 S. Garnett Road in Broken Arrow.
The addition to the complex is a two-phase project, with the first phase providing $3.3 million. Another bond election will be needed to fund the addition, Burden said.
"We will be adding a field and indoor practice facility to the existing baseball and softball complex," Burden said.
The proposed new field will give the district four baseball and softball fields at the complex.
The bond will provide $1.1 million for phase two of the new 14-acre Central Park, which will be built south of the Sixth and Seventh Grade Center, 10100 E. 61st St., and adjacent to Grove Elementary School, 10202 E. 62nd St, Burden said.
"This would develop the playground for the Sixth and Seventh Grade Center, as well an outdoor classroom, and continue to develop that area of the park for the entire community," Burden said.
Phase one of the park is expected to begin in January 2008 when the district breaks ground at the west end of the park. The west end of the park will consist of fields for youth sports and concession stands.
The school bond will also provide $816,800 for early childhood furniture and playground equipment at elementary schools.
Furniture and playground equipment are needed for the district's new 4-year-old program that will open in fall of 2008.
The school bond will provide funds for several projects at Union High School, 6636 S. Mingo Road, including $950,000 for remodeling the building's second-floor classrooms, adding new science labs and upgrades to computers.
Approximately $964,550 will be used to purchase 18 mobile computer labs for those students taking state-mandated tests, Payton said.
By the 2008-2009 school year, all students in Oklahoma will be required to take state-mandated tests online, he added.
About $350,000 will go toward purchasing 118 interactive white boards, which are computerized boards that have the ability to save lessons. This will give teachers the ability to e-mail lessons to students who are absent.
Another item from the list of projects is remodeling entrances that will enhance security at 11 Union schools, she said.
The cost to remodel hallways is $132,000.
Proposition one also includes $750,000 for textbooks and software, as well as $600,000 for a new video server system.
The $1.57 million from proposition two provides seven route buses, two activity buses, and four buses for special education students.