MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 21, 2012

School pushes cafeteria bond issue

Current serving space at Midway used to be home ec classroom

At 524 square feet, the Midway School cafeteria can get crowded during meals, Superintendent John Truesdell said.

“We serve 550 meals a day, but you couldn’t get 100 students in the cafeteria,” Truesdell said, adding that the 550 meals include breakfast and lunch. “It’s a real problem at breakfast when we have the high school and elementary eating breakfast all at the same time.”

The district is seeking voter approval of a $250,000 bond issue to fund construction of a cafeteria nearly three times larger than the current one, Truesdell said. The district has 247 students.

“The key issue is that the bond issue will not raise taxes,” he said. “We have other bond issues going off at that time, so our taxes will remain the same. We try to be real careful with our money.”

Truesdell said the cafeteria is in what used to be a home economics classroom. Grade school and high school students eat breakfast at the same time, from 7:25 to 7:55 a.m. The district runs two lunch periods.

Midway’s bond election is set for March 6, the same day as Oklahoma’s presidential primary.

Truesdell said he hadn’t thought about how the timing would affect voter turnout.

“That’s the first possible date we could vote on it and still have the possibility of finishing it by next school year,” he said. “It is a critical need.”

If the bond issue passes and the new cafeteria is built, the current dining room would go back to being a classroom, he said.

Any money left over from the cafeteria construction would be spent on replacing windows at the elementary school or renovating dressing rooms, he said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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