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Mid-Del Schools preparing for bond election

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

A school bond election could be on the horizon for the Mid-Del School District.

School officials are in the early planning stages for a potential bond election that could be presented to voters in fall 2023.

Superintendent Rick Cobb said they are currently determining how much funding could be available for a bond issue and brainstorming projects that could be included in it.

“I think it takes over a year to plan a really good bond election because you want to hear from as many people as possible,” he said. “You can’t promise them everything because we just don’t have that type of funding. Other districts have more per pupil ad valorem than we do. But we’re going to do what we can to make as many improvements as we can around the district.”

The bond election could be about $150-170 million, Cobb said. It will replace a $130 million bond issues approved in 2017. That included stadium renovations, additions to middle schools and others. In 2020, voters approved an $8.84 million bond issue for playground equipment, fine arts equipment, and others.

“We’ll look at how much property value growth we have and expect to see,” Cobb said.

The district aims to keep its millage rate at about 30.

Cobb has been meeting with teachers and staff to brainstorm potential projects for the bond election. The district will then send out a survey to employees with suggested projects.

“We’ll really start with a giant list and need to scale it back,” Cobb said.

Some of the ideas discussed by teachers and staff include classroom furniture, upgrades to classrooms, HVAC systems, and security at playground areas.

Cobb said he would like to address some of the older elementary schools (Cleveland Bailey, Ridgecrest, Country Estates and Townsend), as well as the older sections of Midwest City and Del City middle schools that were not included in the previous bond issue.

“I think we need to talk about doing a complete renovation like we did at Epperly Heights, or building a whole new school like at Soldier Creek,” he said.

Storm shelters will also likely be included in a bond issue. The district added shelters to five schools in the 2017 bond issue. They still have seven sites without a shelter (all three high schools, Townsend, Tinker, Cleveland Bailey, Ridgecrest, Country Estates, Barnes, and Del City Elementary).

Other potential projects could include new seating in the high school auditoriums, safety improvements at Schwartz Elementary, and baseball and softball upgrades.

The district will hold community meetings later this fall to get feedback from the public on potential projects.

The school board is expected to have a work session to review the projects in early spring. They could consider a resolution calling for a bond election in June.

Cobb is hoping to put a bond election on the ballot in October 2023.

The district hired CMS Willowbrook to do a facility study for all of the campuses. Their findings will be considered for bond projects.


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