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Mid-Del School District calls for $492M bond issue

Mid-Del Superintendent Rick Cobb gives a presentation on a $492 million bond proposal during a July 24 meeting. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Voters to decide on three propositions on Oct. 10 special election

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

The Mid-Del Schools Board of Education on Monday voted to place a $492.7 million bond proposal on the Oct. 10 ballot.

The record bond proposal seeks to fund a variety of projects across the district including a new elementary school building, classroom additions, safety and security enhancements, fine arts, and athletic upgrades among others.

“We’ll have something for every part of the community and something for every grade level, for fine arts, for athletics and for academics. It’s all in there,” said superintendent Rick Cobb.
The general obligation bond proposal would last 19 ½ years and increase the district’s target millage rate from 30 to 32 mills. It would increase property taxes by about $2.75 per month for a $150,000 home, according to district officials.

The bond proposal is divided into three separate propositions. The largest proposition includes $472,500,000 of construction projects and equipment purchases for academics, athletics, fine arts and security. Proposition 2 includes $10 million for an indoor aquatic center in partnership with the YMCA. Proposition 3 includes $10,200,000 for transportation.

Mid-Del School Bond Election Resolution

Voters will decide on the three propositions separately. Each bond proposal must receive at least 60% of the of the vote to pass.

“One or two or three could pass,” said Zach Robinson, bond advisor.

Cobb says he wants the district to be a leader rather than catch up.

“If we don’t do these projects now, then I don’t know when we’re going to be able do them,” he said. “This his how we make Mid-Del competitive in the future.”
School board members LeRoy Porter and Ed Daniel agreed and believed it’s wise to tackle these projects now before construction costs continue to rise.

“This is a good opportunity for us to provide better facilities and attract incoming families,” Daniel said.

Planning for the bond proposal has been in the works for nearly a year. The district started with faculty bond talks at each school site in September. They held numerous community meetings and surveys, steering committee meetings and a special board meeting to discuss proposals.

“When I would ask people what we should cut, there was nothing that seemed like a low priority when you look at the projects on the bond,” Cobb said.
District officials wanted to make sure they were able to fund as many projects as possible. They decided to extend the bond for longer than originally planned. They originally planned for 12-14 years but extended it to 19 ½ years.

If approved, the district plans to work quickly on the projects.

“We’re not going to have to wait 10-15 years for these projects to come online, we’re going to have this done within the next three or four years,” Cobb said.

The school board unanimously approved a bond resolution that outlined the projects and called for an election on Oct. 10.

This will be the district’s third bond proposal in the past decade. A $10.4 million bond issue for safety and security measures was approved by voters in 2014. Then in 2017, voters passed a $130.6 million bond issue that included improvements to football stadiums and middle schools. And in 2020, Mid-Del passed an $8 million bond issue for playground equipment, fine arts uniforms and equipment and classroom/restroom remodel projects.

Neighboring Choctaw-Nicoma Park passed a 20-year $282 million bond issue in February of 2022. Oklahoma City Public Schools passed a $955 million bond package in November.

Projects funded by the Mid-Del 2023 proposals would include:

Proposition 1
Classrooms
• Construction of a new Townsend Elementary School building
• Remodel and add classrooms and storm shelters to Cleveland Bailey, Country Estates, Ridgecrest
• Classroom /storm shelter and improvements to Epperly Heights, Barnes, and Tinker elementary schools
• Multi-classroom addition including a storm shelter and surface and fencing improvements at the existing tennis courts for Carl Albert, Del City and Midwest City high schools
• Multi-classroom addition, cafeteria expansion and improvements to existing classrooms at Carl Albert, Del City and Midwest City middle schools
Athletics
• Upgrades to Gary Rose Stadium at Carl Albert High School/Middle School. Project would include locker room renovation, visitor seating, concession stand/restroom upgrades, lighting improvements, track improvements and new scoreboard
• Del City, Midwest City and Carl Albert High School softball and baseball field upgrades including turf improvements, additional seating, restroom/concession improvements
• Construction of a multi-purpose facility at Carl Albert, Midwest City and Del City high schools.
• Upgrades to Robert Kalsu Stadium at Del City High School including visitor seating, track improvements, lighting improvements and a new scoreboard
• Upgrades to Jim Darnell Stadium at Midwest City High School including track improvements, lighting improvements and a new scoreboard
• New scoreboards and shot clock equipment for high school and middle school basketball courts districtwide
• Athletic equipment and uniforms districtwide
Fine Arts
• Del City, Carl Albert and Midwest City high school Performing Arts Center improvements including seating, lighting and sound system
• Fine arts equipment and uniforms districtwide
District-wide
• HVAC equipment and controls
• Safety and security improvements including fencing, access control keypads, cameras, lighting, and doors and hardware
• Roofing improvements
• Technology equipment and technology related items
• Textbooks, library books and instructional materials
• Maintenance/utility vehicles and maintenance equipment

Proposition 2
• Provide for the construction of an indoor aquatic center including a competition swimming pool, spectator seating, locker rooms and support space as part of a larger YMCA of Greater Oklahoma recreation center.

Proposition 3
• Transportation equipment and auxiliary transportation equipment

Gina Standridge, school board member, expresses support for a proposed $492 million bond proposal for Mid-Del Schools. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Ed Daniel, Mid-Del School Board member, speaks about a bond proposal during a July 24 meeting. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Zach Robinson, bond advisor, speaks about the district’s proposed $492 million bond issue.

Strippy Biggers applauds school district employees for their work in preparing a $492 million school bond proposal. Photo by Jeff Harrison

 

7 Comments

  1. Concerned Taxpayer on July 29, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Didn’t we just put $5 million into each Mid Del High School Football Stadium less than 5 years ago? I’m confused on why that didn’t cover some of these renovations? I’ve seen my property taxes go up over 18% in the last 4 years due to all of these bonds barely passing and I only see closing schools for consolidation. Where are those savings going?

    • Nadine Gallagher on September 16, 2023 at 8:52 pm

      I believe the last 2 bonds were tax neutral. Your tax increase was t because of school taxes.

  2. Jeanne Millican on July 31, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Let’s pass this bond issue! It will be great for all of our community!

    • Stephanie on September 24, 2023 at 11:13 am

      It doesn’t help our low test scores though, and most certainly won’t get teachers hired

  3. Ree Lopez on August 28, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Let’s not pass another bond , that says our taxes will only go up 2.75 per 150k per month , they try to make us souls like it’s Pennie’s but In The end it will be hundreds of dollars to each tax payer for things that aren’t necessities in a partial recession ….

    Get. Grip people we are not Edmond and the average household in midwest city can’t afford this

  4. Bemedia on October 2, 2023 at 8:44 am

    ¡Hola! He querido escribirte porque veo una excelente oportunidad para que tu empresa sea el foco de una *entrevista* que tengo en mente que podríamos realizar.
    Esta entrevista no sólo sería una conversación enriquecedora, sino que además, *se publicaría en decenas de medios* y periódicos de gran reputación. Como beneficio adicional, enlazaremos tu sitio web en la entrevista, lo cual ayudará a mejorar su posicionamiento. El hecho de que aparezcas en una entrevista en medios confiables contribuirá a generar más confianza en tu negocio.

    ¿Sería posible que me dieras un *número de teléfono* para discutir los detalles? Gracias.

  5. Hacked off Tax Payer on October 6, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Enough is Enough, 150 mil over the last few years in bonds. Well over 50 % of my property tax’s already go to the schools. At some point someone needs to be held accountable for all the millions and how its being spent. Every time this happens its always the cure for all the so called problems but it is never going to be enough as long as things continue as is. I am tired of my property tax’s going up and up with no end ever in sight. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Im voting NO.

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