Editor’s Note: This is the fifth part in a series of articles about projects included in Mid-Del School District’s upcoming $492 million bond proposal. The election is set for Oct. 10.
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Mid-Del Schools opened two new elementary schools nearly a decade ago.
Soldier Creek and Midwest City Elementary School both opened in 2014 and were built as part of a previous bond issue. Soldier Creek is a feeder school for Carl Albert middle and high school, and Midwest City Elementary students go on to Midwest City middle and high school.
It’s been much longer since a new school opened in the Del City area.
That could change with the construction of a new Townsend Elementary School in Del City. The $64 million project is included in an upcoming bond proposal that addresses safety and security, school facilities, athletics, fine arts, and transportation.
“Del City and this part of the district has not had a new school in decades,” said Mid-Del Superintendent Rick Cobb.
Voters will decide on the $492 million bond issue during a special election on Oct. 10. School officials project that the nearly 20-year bond issue will increase property taxes by $2.75 per month for a house valued at $150,000.
Cobb said district leaders wanted to replace one of the older elementary schools as part of the bond issue. He said they reviewed four of the older elementary schools (Cleveland Bailey, Country
Estates, Ridgecrest and Townsend) that needed to be replaced or overhauled. Townsend was the top choice due to its location, age, and condition.
“Townsend needed the most attention and had the most issues with accessibility and deferred maintenance,” Cobb said.
Epperly Heights was remodeled and Parkview and Del City elementary schools both received additions as part of previous bond issues.
Townsend has 446 students this year. The school’s enrollment grew last year after Highland Park was closed. Students from Highland Park now attend Townsend, Epperly Heights and Parkview. The new Townsend would be smaller than the new Soldier Creek and Midwest City Elementary.
If approved, the new school will have three classrooms per grade level with space for art, music, physical education, and special education. Townsend is also home to the district’s deaf education program.
“We want to bring in accessibility features, whether its intercoms with light systems so there are indicators for students and staff that are hearing impaired,” Cobb said. “We want to build a model inclusive school for hearing impaired students and staff.”
Those features could be replicated at other schools in the district.
The new Townsend would be built behind the current school building in a large open space. The current school will be demolished after the new one opens.
New perimeter fencing is also included in the bond proposal.
If voters approve the bond proposal, construction projects are slated to be completed within three years, Cobb said. The first portion of money would be available in December and be used for safety and security items such as doors, locks, fences, card readers, and cameras. Funding for building projects would become available in July 2024.
“We’re expecting to pass the bond in October and have all of the construction completed by summer 2026,” Cobb said.
Principals and teachers will provide input on plans for the new and renovated schools in the bond issue.