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Mustang schools break ground on Elementary No. 9

Charles Bradley speaks ahead of the official ground breaking ceremony at Mustang Elementary No. 9. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

With shovels in hand and hard caps on, leaders of the Mustang Public School community
officially took the next step toward paving the way for the district’s future on March 6.

Elementary No. 9, a vision that has been in the works for MPS for multiple years and would
culminate into the Momentum23 bond proposal voters approved last year, would help alleviate
stress on existing schools as the Mustang School District grows.

Charles Bradley, the MPS Superintendent, spoke to what it means to the district to see the
Mustang Elementary No. 9 building take those steps toward becoming a reality at the corner of Sara and 44th.

“The process is you sit down, you come up with a design that’s functional and you have the kid
in mind, but it’s all on paper,” Bradley said. “And so, then when you start to see that process
and you start to see dirt turning, you start to see the form of the earth start taking the shape of
where they’re going to pour the concrete. That’s when it gets exciting because you know you’re
a part of something that’s going to not only impact kids just in the next couple of years when it
opens, but 50-60 years down the road. This is going to be somebody’s school that they are
proud of. And here we are, as dirt’s turning, to be on that front end of it. I just think it’s exciting
for the community.”

Bradley mentioned the district went through a demographic study to try and identify the best
possible place for the school as the growth occurring everywhere in the district has continued.
That study helped isolate the high areas of growth, with the location of Sara and 44th being one
of the prime locations identified and eventually selected.

Originally, the location planned for the school had been different before the district learned the
location identified was on a flood plain and had to pivot to one of the other options the study

“When you create a new school, it’s obviously going to have an impact on the other schools
that already exist,” Bradley said. “So, we were trying to maneuver it in a location that would
create the most relief from some of our other elementary (schools). So, the first location we
looked at, the price was considerably higher, but also it had come out that I think it was like 40
acres of it couldn’t be used because of the floodplain… So, obviously we needed to go in a
different direction, and just a mile or two north of there, this became an option.”

He said the school location at Sara and 44th will be able to impact the same schools they were planning on prior with the other piece of land.

MPS expects the doors to be opened for the new school starting in the 2025-26 school year.
Bradley said the building could be completed sooner than that, but said the district wouldn’t
open up the new elementary in the middle of a school year.

Todd Lovelace, the Mustang Public Schools Board of Education President, shared his thoughts
on the new elementary moving along in the process.

“There are a couple things that excite me about the location for Elementary No. 9,” Lovelace
said. “First and foremost, though, I’m very appreciative of our community for passing this bond
that allows us to build this elementary and complete other projects in the district. The location
of Elementary No. 9 is very key because I believe it will allow for growth in a key area and also
help alleviate potential classroom sizes at some surrounding sites. There is excitement for
seeing dirt being turned. I’m hoping to see a lot more soon in our district. Our community
deserves it!”

The project wouldn’t be possible without the support of Mustang’s community.

“None of this happens without the community support,” Bradley said. “We’re extremely
thankful that, with our bond campaign, and just really truly wanting to communicate with the
community that this is not a one and done. Our growth is continuous. And so, having the bond
slogan ‘Momentum’ allowed us to show the community that it’s not just 2023 that we’re talking
about, we’ve also got our eyes on 2027 to also attack the growth, whether it be another new
site or planning upgrades to our current site facilities. It’s just that we need to keep that
momentum going so that we can provide the best for our kids.”

Bradley also said the High School Expansion project is in the works, even though it is
purposefully designed to lag behind the elementary project. The district is also hoping to take
advantage of forecasted for interest rates and inflation to decrease in the next year.

He reiterated that keeping the public informed is a priority for the district, especially when it
comes to showing how they are being great stewards of the bond money.

The Mustang Elementary Safety Corridor project has also been sent out to bid and has been
scheduled to be completed over the summer so it doesn’t disrupt any school functions.

Elementary No. 9 will be built by Cade Construction, with the other projects being done by
Timberlake Construction. MA+ is the architect over all of the MPS projects.

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