MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 25, 2010

Wagoner voters asked to approve $8.57M bond issue

WAGONER — Pre-kindergarten pupils fill the halls of Lincoln Elementary School with noise and chatter.

School officials say so many youngsters are filling the 70-year-old school, they need larger, newer and more up-to-date classrooms.

Addition of a pre-kindergarten wing at Ellington Elementary School is part of a $8.57 million bond issue Wagoner Public School patrons will decide May 11.

School Superintendent Sonny Bates said the bond issue will not result in a tax rate increase because it will replace a retiring bond issue.

Bates said the district must make long-overdue repairs to ceilings, heating/air conditioning systems and parking lots.

 For example, several heating/air conditioning units date to 1965, said district Operations Director Bill Luna. “And the middle school roof has been patched and patched.”

Bates said the district formed a committee last spring to evaluate what capital issues were most critical. He said the district had hoped to use federal stabilization funds on the building repairs. However, the stabilization money was absorbed in state aid.

“And we were left wanting,” Bates said.

The district also must accommodate growth in the lower grades, officials said.

Bates said the third grade has about 234 students this year, but had averaged 190 to 200 in the past.

“It seems like we’ll be growing in the next three, five, seven years to come,” he said.

The bond issue would help fund an eight-classroom addition at Ellington Elementary to house the program for 4-year-olds. The pre-kindergarten program is located at Lincoln Elementary.

Luna said Lincoln Elementary, built in 1940, has gotten too old to update to current standards.

“We can’t spend taxpayers’ money to bring it up to where it should be,” he said, citing structural, foundation and drainage problems at the school. A temporary school annex is not handicapped accessible, he said. The school also does not have a kitchen. Breakfasts and lunches must be brought in from another school.

Bates said the district does not plan to do away with the old Lincoln building, which he said the teachers love. He said it could be used for adult education or other programs.

“It will still be useful for us and to the community,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks