Mid-Del School Bond Election: Needs vary at elementary schools
Editor’s Note: The Midwest City Beacon is running a series of articles about projects included in a $130.6 million bond proposal for the Mid-Del School District. The series will continue each week leading up to the Oct. 10 election.
By Tonya Little
The bond election which takes place on October 10 has many different components in it for the Mid-Del School district. Mid-Del will be asking the community to approve the bond totaling $130,600,000. The bond will not raise taxes, the projects are all expected to be done within 3 years and the bond issue will be paid off within 10 years. One of the many different projects that this bond proposes includes various works on different elementary schools in the district. One of the items under this section includes building new storm shelters at both Pleasant Hill and Schwartz Elementary.
“When we look at our storm plan for inclement weather in the spring, we have tornado shelters in five schools currently and then if we ever had to shelter during the school day we have a number of schools that are really far away from those other shelters,” explained superintendent Dr. Cobb. “Pleasant Hill is almost 6 miles away from the nearest school that has a shelter. We don’t like the idea of putting kids on a bus in inclement weather anyway but certainly not trying to take them 6 miles in a bus, when people are panicked.”
The storm shelter for Pleasant Hill will cost $920,000. In addition to getting a new shelter, Schwartz Elementary also has a proposed classroom expansion with this bond election. It would add one more class per grade level, a new gymnasium, a music room, AC in the gym, additional parking and office space. This is due to a growth in enrollment and housing development in the area of the school. The cost of the work at Schwartz is $9,145,000. Parkview Elementary has also seen an increase in students. It has grown by about 200-250 students over the last several years. The capacity of the cafeteria is no longer adequate for the amount of students that they have, so a new cafeteria is in the bond proposal, which will include kitchen space and seating space. It also will receive upgrades to the fire suppression system, with a total of $1,240,000 in improvements.
“At Townsend, there’s really a disconnect between the two main parts of the building, so we need to make some upgrades to improve accessibility for students and visitors into the building,” explained Dr. Cobb.
The cost for the building accessibility improvements and putting AC into the gym for Townsend is $950,000. At Cleveland Bailey Elementary there are some storm drainage issues that need to be corrected so that the school doesn’t have to deal with flooding. The costs for the site work and drainage improvements and putting AC into the gym will be $515,000.
“We’re just trying to keep that school from having some problems that would cost us a lot more money further down the road,” explained Dr. Cobb. “When we went around the district and talked to all of our schools, talked to patrons and had community forums, every one of those things came up about our elementary schools, except for the storm drainage thing, that’s just something that our maintenance department knows is an ongoing issue.”
In addition to the specific things that each of these schools need, many of the elementary schools in the district will also be getting new electric marquees to ensure effective communication. These schools include Barnes, Cleveland Bailey, Country Estates, Highland Park, Ridgecrest, Schwartz, Steed and Townsend Elementary. Many of the elementary schools will also be getting new heat and air inside of their gyms, which includes Barnes, Cleveland Bailey, Highland Park, Ridgecrest, Schwartz, Steed, Tinker and Townsend Elementary. The district wants to make sure that all of the schools are adequately equipped to provide the best and most effective learning environment for its students as well as keep them safe and comfortable. You can find out more about the bond project details at www.Mid-del.net.