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Momentum23 bond includes nearly $61M elementary school proposal

Mustang Superintendent, Charles Bradley, provides a short update on the Momentum23 bond at the Board of Education Meeting on Jan. 9. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

news@mustangpaper.com

Mustang Public Schools “Momentum23” bond vote is rapidly approaching, so let’s take a look at one of the major proposals the bond would include if it passes on Feb. 14.

A new Elementary School is essential to keep up with the city growth currently happening. Mustang Superintendent, Charles Bradley, said passing the bond issue would help in creating more space for elementary students.

“This bond issue is critical because of the growth we’ve seen over many years,” Bradley said. “As far as the Elementary No.9 goes, we don’t have any more space at our current elementary (schools). There’s nothing to reconfigure. There’s nothing to move around. We just don’t have any more space.”

“Elementary No. 9 is critical that we are able to pass this bond issue so that we can create more classroom space for elementary,” Bradley said.

Bradley said there was a school board presentation done a few months back which showed results of the hired demographics company on where the growth in the Mustang School District is most prevalent.

He mentioned the data made it pretty clear that the central part of the district (somewhere between Reno and 59th street, and county line to Highway 92) as the area growing.

“And so, what we’ve identified is that those elementary (schools) that are located within that area, they’re at or over where we would like to see their capacities,” Bradley said. “So, Elementary No. 9 has to go in somewhere in that mix that is going to be able to take pressure off of those three elementary (schools)… Riverwood, Prairie View and Valley would be the three elementary (schools) that we’d like to take some pressure off of.”

So, how large would a potential Elementary School be?

For that, take a look at a similar project from the 2017 bond. Riverwood Elementary was built from the 2017 bond issue and is about 76,000 square feet. That was before the portables and more.

“That’s too small,” Bradley said. “So, we know going into this one that we need to have it to be in the mid 80’s. That it needs to be around 85,000 square feet because we know the growth is going to continue to happen. It may slow down and it may speed up, but we can’t build this one to where it’s going to be at capacity the day we open up.”

The district would like for school sizes to be between 750 and 850 students. Bradley said when the number reaches 1,000 the Elementary School becomes extremely big. He also said the philosophy for 750-850 students has remained the same for many bond issues in the past.

“We’d like to keep it around 750-850,” Bradley said. “That just to me has proven to be the right size for an Elementary. And then, we are always continuing that to look at it and revisit it, (like asking) are we able to keep doing that with growth being what it is? So, we’re constantly evaluating what’s the perfect size, but we know you can’t build a new one with the growth and then it’s maxed out Day 1.”

That makes for the $60,955,000 allotment for the new school in the proposal. That is a lot more than usual due to the inflation, interest rates increasing, cost of materials, supply chain issues and more.

The costs per square foot is related to a real number being used for school districts and buildings right now. That makes the bond number the current actual cost for the buildings, not a guess.

“We’re having to make sure we set aside enough money for that,” Bradley said.

Election Day is Feb. 14. The last day to register to vote is Jan. 20 and the last day to request an absentee ballot is Jan. 30.

Check your registration, request an absentee ballot and more through the Oklahoma Voter Portal. Any registered voter who lives in the 72 square mile district can vote at their regular voting place.

 

 

 

 

 

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