Voters turn down 2 bonds in Bartlesville, school officials will have to come up with a new plan

BARTLESVILLE, OK - Bartlesville school officials are going back to the drawing board after voters say no at the polls Tuesday.

A total of $50 million was on the line for the district.

It would have meant major upgrades for middle school and high school students, along with transportation improvements.

"Bartlesville should be ashamed of themselves that they didn't vote on this bond," said Susan Berry, an 8th grade teacher in the Bartlesville Public School District.

Berry was shocked the bond issues didn't pass.

"I just know what the schools are like inside and it's time for new buildings, it's time to step it up," Berry said.

Superintendent Gary Quinn was also disappointed, noting that the bonds would not have raised taxes.

"Our buildings are averaging about 53 years old, as you said, we haven't built a new school in 27 years so there are some definite needs in our school district that's why our school district had a bond issues before the voters," Quinn said.

He said the the last two bonds in 2007 and 2001 that did pass were aimed at elementary and high school upgrades, which left a need for the middle schools.

If this round of bonds would have passed, Madison Middle School would have been demolished to make way for a new  6th and 7th grade center.

The other middle school, Central, would have been converted into the new administration building.

There would have also been 18 new rooms added to the high school to accommodate another grade level.

The vote was nearly split 50-50 on the bonds, but Oklahoma law requires at least 60 percent to pass.

"I just gave up on the school district," parent Sondra Dotson said.

This past year the district decided to close one of its elementary schools.

Dotson's son is a student there; she doesn't see the point of closing one school while improving others.

"Why did they close the school down to go ahead and add on to another school and put six new rooms in that school, you could have left the little community that was over at Oak Park alone," Dotson said.

Now the district leaders will make new plans to ensure the district's needs are addressed in the future.

"We will revisit those needs and determine which are most the pressing, which are the most needed at some point in the future I'm sure we will come back to voters and let them have a chance to support that new bond issue," Quinn said.

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