MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 1, 2013

Gore bond proposal's goal: warmer schools

It would fund window replacement, addition of insulation

GORE — Elementary students and teachers get cold in their classrooms when winter comes.

“I wear leggings under my slacks or my dress,” social studies teacher Cheryl Sanders said. “In the fall and winter, the kids wear coats over jackets or hoodies.”

Gore Public Schools officials say a $400,000 bond issue could help insulate the school. Voters in the Gore school district will face two propositions in a bond election Oct. 8:

• $300,000 for building and technology upgrades, including insulating the lower elementary building, replacing glass doors with storm-rated safety doors, replacing single-pane windows with storm safety windows, and replacing lighting at the elementary with more energy-efficient lighting.

• $100,000 for a late-model route bus.

Superintendent Lucky McCrary said the five-year bond issue, if approved, would not raise the tax rate.

Several things make the lower elementary school cold in the winter, McCrary said.

The school was built in the 1960s with single-pane windows. Glass exterior walls were installed above the windows, decreasing energy efficiency even more, McCrary said.

“The building has no insulation whatsoever,” he said.

Sanders said her classroom is on the north end of the school.

“And with these block walls, you can just feel the temperatures,” she said. The glass blocks cause glare in her classroom, she said, adding that she and other teachers have to cover the blocks.

The $300,000 bond issue would pay to insulate the lower elementary building, replace the glass exterior walls with energy efficient block or brick walls and replace single-pane windows with storm safety windows.

The bond issue also would pay for replacing fluorescent lighting with more energy-efficient lighting.

“I expect it to be a huge decrease in utility bills with just the light fixtures alone,” McCrary said.

District officials also seek to replace all glass doors with storm-rated safety doors. McCrary said the stronger doors would offer more protection during tornadoes and from potential intruders.

The bond issue also would fund replacement of stadium lighting with steel poles and new lights.

“The poles out there are wooden,” McCrary said. “Woodpeckers have eaten the tops of the poles.”

The transportation bond would pay for a late model bus that can be used as an activity/spare route bus if needed. The current activity/spare route bus is a 1990s model with mechanical problems and 182,000 miles, McCrary said.

Gore’s current bond issue package ends in June 2014, he said.

“In order to keep that revenue stream going, we have to vote on the bond this year,” he said.

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

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