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Under construction: CNP bond projects underway

By Ryan Horton
Choctaw Times

Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District begins work on bond projects

Choctaw-Nicoma Park officials break ground on the bond projects at Choctaw High School, May 18.

The Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District officially broke ground on the recently approved bond projects May 18, and it didn’t take long for there to be visible work underway at Choctaw High School.

Work is underway to prepare for a new two-story main building at CHS that school officials say will be the focal point of the community.

“It’s our first project and the reason it’s our first project is because it’s the biggest and means it will take the longest. This building is targeting to begin in the 2025-26 school year, so we’re looking at a two-year construction,” said Choctaw-Nicoma Park Superintendent David Reid.

The junior/senior parking lot as well as the teacher parking lot toward the front of the campus is currently being removed.

“That is where the new building will sit,” said Reid. “The goal is to have the drive repoured before school starts. So, you’ll still have access to the high school from both sides.”

The new CHS main building will be constructed behind the existing front of the high school. After completion, the outdated entry and front building will be demolished and turned into parking.

The new CHS building will total 98,000 square feet.

A lower floor will include offices, an E-Sports room, and 20 classrooms. The second floor will feature 28 classrooms.

The new structure will feature the latest technology and be ADA compliant, including an elevator.

“The project that has officially started at the high school is the ‘Manhattan Project.’ That’s the front projects. The two-story building, Air Force Junior ROTC building, and tennis locker rooms. It’s also the renovation of the little theater, and an inside addition of the band room. So, Manhattan is the construction management firm doing all those projects. Right now, they are approved for the demolition and earthwork. Which means they can tear up and haul off the concrete and move things around, but the structures can’t begin being built until those permits have been issued to the city,” explained Reid.

Many smaller projects are also underway at the CHS campus.

“As far as what’s happening at Bill Jensen Field, those are in-house projects that are being completed by various companies,” said Reid. “So, there’s a renovation of the visitor concession stand and restrooms. A press box for the visiting coaches was added to the top. There’s a concrete walkway that attaches the home side to the visitor side. They’re resurfacing the track surface, and that means pulling up the old pole-vault pit, and adding curbing. There’ll be a walkway all the way around the track as well. That will be a gray surface with blue exchange zones on the track. They’re painting the goalposts. The old fluorescent lights are being taken down and LED lights are being put up and that’ll be really cool. There’ll also be bleachers put in the south endzone for the band dedicated to the band. And there will also be a new scoreboard video board put in as well.”

Reid says all the football field improvements are expected to be ready by fall with the exception of a possible upgrade to the concession stand and restroom area.
While existing restroom sewer line issues will have to be addressed by the fall, upgrades officials hope to see for the restroom and concession building will depend on the timeline and fluctuating commercial construction material costs.

“All of the renovations at Jensen Field will be completed by the fall other than the one that involves our architects, which is the potential renovation of the restroom and concession area,” said Reid.

Additionally, improvements are set for inside the McCharren Center. The concession area of the lobby will be expanded and make and female restrooms will be added to both sides of the lobby.

A multi-sport indoor complex will be built near the McCharen Center.

Improvements are slated for both the baseball and softball fields.

The fall fast pitch season will compete on the middle school field, but officials hope to be competing at CHS for spring sports of 2024.

“We’re turfing both, infield and outfield, and putting up new lights for both. Hopefully, the budget allows fencing and scoreboards for both. Down baseball’s third base line, and softball’s first baseline will be locker rooms that feed out into their dugouts,” said Reid. “We opened bids on those projects last week.”
Reid says after bids come back, officials will work on revisions and adjustments as all projects are subject to change, especially due to the current turbulent commercial construction market.

“We don’t plan to compromise the functionality of any projects, but we can find some cost-saving,” said Reid.

The 20-year bond issue was approved by voters in February.

“It’s $282 million and so it’s significant. Our community got behind it by 75% vote,” Reid said.

The bond has significant improvements set for all CNP school sites, and includes the construction of two new elementary schools.

The second largest project in the first phase of projects will be the new elementary school to be built off of SE 29th Street near Westminster.

The new school will feature 31 classrooms and have a footprint of roughly 65,000 square feet.

“We’ve cleared the land along 29th Street, but that is mainly so we can get in and start the needed surveying,” said Reid. “Hopefully, we’ll see that build begin in October or November.”
Indian Meridian Elementary and James Griffith Intermediate schools have been connected to form one new elementary, Griffith Meridian Elementary.
Another east side elementary is planned to be built later during the bond project process. When that is complete, the district will have six elementary schools that serve grades Pre-K through fifth.

rews begin work on Bill Jensen Field. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

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