School bond issue focuses on two proposals

Ponca City Now - October 6, 2015 4:12 pm

Ponca City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Pennington said Monday that the upcoming school bond election is about expectations.

“When you’re growing, you build,” he said. “You either have to decide to compete with other growing districts, or you’re not. What is our image of ourselves? People believe in the future of this community and want it to grow. We have to offer the same things that students can have in more suburban communities.”

He said that over the years, the district has focused on renovating and restoring its facilities.

“Now, we are at the point where we could renovate and it would not be adequate,” he said.

“It goes back to our students. We need a venue where our students can perform and produce the best performances possible,” he said. “We have really good performing arts programs and it’s a shame that most people in this community have not heard these students at their best.”

Pennington said the bond issue was designed to remain at the same level since 2000.

The bond issue raises money from property taxes.

“Property taxes are the only taxes that school districts receive,” Pennington said. “That’s why we have to have a 60 percent majority of the voters in this election to vote in favor of the bond. And a mill is one-tenth of a penny.”

He said that for the past 15 years, voters have approved bond issues, and in only two of those years did the millage hit 22 mills.

“That is our target,” he said.

This bond issue focuses on two proposals: A transportation bond for $1 million, which will be used to purchase nine new buses, and a second proposal for $37,225,000 in building bonds.

The building bonds would fund improvements to Lincoln, West, East and Ponca City High School to improve security and energy efficiency. Pennington said those improvements would provide a better learning environment.

The building bond also would continue the improvement of technology-enriched environments that would prepare students to live and work in a global society. The goal is to update all technology every four years, Pennington said.

The bond also will make significant improvements in the district’s athletic and fine arts facilities, he said. Athletic facility projects include construction of a new press box; football locker room; athletic training facility and renovations to Sullins Stadium and Robson Fieldhouse.

Fine arts improvements would include construction of a concert hall north of Sullins Stadium and new seating for the Howell Auditorium.

 

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