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Voters to decide on Owasso Public School bond

Owasso Prop 1.jpg
Posted at 4:23 PM, Apr 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-03 23:54:37-04

TULSA, Okla. — On Tuesday, April 5th, voters in the Owasso Public School district area will be deciding on the fate of a new school bond proposition.

Usually, Owasso Public Schools aims for two or three-year bonds, but this time they are asking voters to approve a five-year bond.

The interim superintendent, Dr. Margaret Coates, told 2 News they chose this so they can plan projects further out.

“With two years you are just kind of taking care of those immediate needs. We want to make sure we take care of those immediate needs and kind of those longer-range needs as well", Coates said.

There are two propositions for the eighty-four million dollar bond.

The first one would go toward district-wide facility improvements, maintenance, technology upgrades, instructional material updates, roofing repairs, and HVAC upgrades.

The second proposition would go towards transportation needs.

Dr. Coates plans to focus on using some of the funds to pay for major changes to the high school track.

“Our track was built in 1982 and has not had any improvements since that time except for the surface of the track. So they are going to make improvement not only to the surface of the track but surrounding it by adding bleachers and restrooms", Dr. Coates said.

The district would like to do things like track resurfacing, adding bleachers, and redoing fencing.

Coates said currently there are no restrooms at the track so for the time being they rent porta potties for each events.

She also said they would like to upgrade the wellness center for student-athletes to use to train and have therapy within the school.

Lastly, they hope to use the bond to add two multi-use safe rooms.

One would be built at Hodson Elementary and one at the Owasso 8th Grade Center.

“These safe rooms will be more than just a gym. typically, school districts will say safe gym but we are saying multi-purpose safe rooms so that maybe we can build a band room for example at our eighth-grade center and use it to build capacity in those buildings and also have it be a safe structure", Coates said.

Coates said the proposed bonds would not increase the current tax rate for voters.

“So our bonding capacity really grows at a 5% per year. However, this bond is conservative and we only used a 3% growth rate for our model to build the bond package", Coates said.

She hopes voters approve this bond because if not, she says they will have to put some projects on the back burner.

For any projects that can't be put on the back burner, she said they would have to take money out of the general fund to address these issues.

Polls will be open April 5th from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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