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.
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:
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• Transportation equipment and auxiliary transportation equipment