, Muskogee, OK

February 27, 2013

School seeks bond in March 5 election

— By Cathy Spaulding

Times Staff Writer

New roofing, new school buses, new technology, new band equipment and new roofing are part of a $5.48 million bond issue for Fort Gibson Public Schools.

The election will be held March 5.

Fort Gibson Superintendent Derald Glover said the bond issue continues one currently on the books and will not result in a tax increase.

Major items in the bond issue include new roofing at the high school gym and swimming pool and at the Early Learning Center. Glover said the roof over the gym is more than 30 years old and needs to be replaced.

In the high school band room, located at the gym, wastebaskets are placed under ceiling tiles where water has leaked, Band Director LaNell Spyres said.

The district bus fleet also needs to be updated, Glover said.

“We try to keep our buses for up to 100,000 miles,” he said.

Passage of the bond issue could help the district pay for eight new route buses, plus two Suburbans and one truck for the agriculture education department, he said.

The district also needs to expand its high school science labs, he said.

“This is the original lab from the early 1970s, said FGHS science teacher Greg Moydell. “There have been no modifications to the labs other than to put a wall between the two areas.”

The high school has a life science lab and a physical science lab.

“You’re talking about 400 students using two labs,” Moydell said. The physical science lab takes up half a classroom.

“Since that lab is used as a classroom, it limits the time students can use the lab,” he said.

Also, the small sinks are inadequate for modern lab use, he said. “Over 30 years, the sinks accumulated a lot of stuff in the pipes.”

The high school band also needs new musical instruments, especially in percussion and low brass, Spyres said. She said many of the tubas have dents and patches.

Fort Gibson eighth-grader Chris Drake said the tuba he uses has valves that stick, while the valve piping and tuning slide are loose.

Spyres said the high school band would get the new instruments and hand its current instruments down to the middle school. The band also needs to replace old uniforms and get new lockers for its instruments.

Another bond issue project — artificial turf at the football stadium —also could help the band, Spyres said. The band practices marching on blacktop which is filled with puddles after it rains, she said.

The bond issue also includes upgrades to technology, including efforts to provide a computer device for each student, Glover said. The district is seeking to enable each student to have a laptop or tablet computer.

Other items on the bond issue list include new carpeting at the middle school and early learning center, swimming pool deck repairs, robotics lab expansion, stage equipment at the Intermediate Elementary School, repairs and upgrades to the district security and phone systems.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or