Union Public Schools to bring $21M bond issue before voters Tuesday; Jenks election set for $12.8M

This Tuesday, voters living within the boundaries of Union Public Schools will be able to vote on two bond issues totaling $21 million. 

The first proposition would approve more than $3 million in funding to be spent across 13 Union elementary schools, the district's sixth through ninth grade centers, high school and other facilities. That money would be used to purchase textbooks and make technology upgrades. 

Another $10 million from the first proposition would be spent on expanding and renovating the district's 8th Grade Center. Additional gym space would be added to the center, the parking lot and bus loop would be improved and a new fine arts wing would be built. 

Union Public Schools superintendent Kirt Hartzler said 85 percent of his middle school students are involved in the fine arts.

"We are out of room," Hartzler said. "That is a great problem to have. Because we know when we have an engaged student, typically we have a successful student."

The first proposition also includes funds for capitol improvements.

The second proposition that voters will be presented with is for $2.1 million to be spent on transportation. That money would be used to purchase eight regular route, four special education and two activity buses.

Union officials say that both propositions would allow them to make improvements they otherwise couldn't afford.

"We are just not funded adequately enough in this state to be able to have a lot of discretionary funds in our general fund budget to buy computers, to buy textbooks, and uniforms and band equipment or also make any capitol improvements," Hartzler said.

Jenks will also bring a $12.8 million bond issue before voters Tuesday.

The bond will fund safety, technology, transportation and media equipment. 

Specific projects include renovations to Jenks East Elementary kitchen, resurfacing the high school track, phase two of the Rock Gym preservation and copiers.

Jenks’ last bond issue in February 2013 passed with more than 75 percent of voters in favor, according to the district’s website.  

By Oklahoma law, school districts must pass a bond issue by a super majority, 60 percent or more votes. 

Other area districts heading to polls Tuesday include Bixby, Catoosa, Haskell, Henryetta, Mannford and Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Technology Center.  

All of these elections are for Board of Education members.

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