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 Jeff Harrison
A $130.6 million bond package would touch all points of the Mid-Del School District.
The biggest impact will be felt at the middle school level, where district officials plan to consolidate and improve facilities, while streamlining academic and extracurricular activities.
About $32 million would be used to upgrade and expand Carl Albert, Kerr and Monroney middle schools with new classrooms space and storm shelters. The new construction would be part of a larger plan to consolidate middle schools. The district would reduce the number of middle schools from five to three with each one school serving as a feeder to the three high schools.
“This would allow us to run more efficiently and allows all of our academic and extracurricular programs to feed more seamlessly in with our high school programs,” said Mid-Del Superintendent Rick Cobb.
The middle school projects represent nearly ¼ of the total funds included in the $130.6 million bond package. The expansions at Monroney and Kerr would cost about $12.2 million each. The Carl Albert addition would cost about $7.2 million with another $1.1 million towards repurposing the Jarman and Del Crest properties.
Jarman and Del Crest middle schools would eventually be closed. Del Crest would be repurposed for central enrollment and other central administration purposes. The district does not have any final plans for Jarman, but Cobb said they are considering repurposing the building, selling it or demolishing the school to provide more parking for nearby Rose Field.
Cobb said they chose to keep Kerr and Monroney based on their location and available property for expansion. He said the district had considered building two new middle school buildings, but it would be too costly for the bond proposal.
The shift to three middle schools would likely take place starting in summer 2020.
Under the plan, a 35,000-square-foot classroom addition would be built at both Monroney and Kerr. The addition would include a storm shelter and classroom space to accommodate the additional students. New athletic fields would also be constructed at both sites. School and Del City officials have discussed adding an access road from Kerr to Sooner Road, which would alleviate traffic issues in the neighborhood.
“That neighborhood already has Del City High School and Del City Elementary and between those two that’s over 2,000 students. A middle school with over 1,000 students that’s a lot of people within about a ½ square mile. More access would be better, but we can route people out to SE 29th Street pretty easily,” Cobb said.
The district plans to eventually replace the existing structures at Kerr and Monroney. Cobb said that would be included in a future bond proposal.
“We want to situate the new wings in a way so they can be the nucleus of a middle school in the future,” Cobb said.
Carl Albert Middle School would be expanded to include an additional 12 classrooms, a storm shelter and music room. The addition will replace the metal buildings and barracks behind the school building. The tennis courts would be relocated due to the construction.
Cobb said he has received warm feedback about the middle school plan and stressed that the bond proposal would not raise taxes.
“The response has been positive especially with the storm shelters,” he said.
The bond package includes improvements to elementary schools, high school football stadiums, performing arts centers, textbooks, technology, transportation and others. The bond is split into two propositions with $121.3 million for facilities and learning materials, and $9.3 million for transportation.
The bond election is set for Oct. 10. Both propositions require 60 percent of the vote to pass.