MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 25, 2013

Midway Schools seek $1.3M bond

— COUNCIL HILL — Midway Elementary School needs so many repairs, upgrades and space that school officials are asking for a new school.

A $1.3 million bond issue set for March 5 will help fund a new elementary school with eight classrooms, a principal’s office and teachers’ workroom.

Elementary students study in a building that’s nearly 60 years old.

With the exception of portable classrooms for the high school, Midway has not had a new school building since 1954, said Superintendent John Truesdell.

Andy Davis, part owner of the Stephen L. Smith bonding firm, said the bond issue would mean an increase of about $12.63 for every $100 a taxpayer pays in ad valorem taxes. A person paying $700 in property taxes would pay $788.41, and a taxpayer paying $1,000 would see an increase to $1,126, he said.

Midway School Principal Randy Shaw said a 1954 building does not have the capacity for current technology. Several classrooms have multiple cords stuck into outlet extensions.

An outlet in a second-grade classroom pulls away from the wall, said teacher Amanda Myers. She said some teachers only have two outlets in their classrooms. Many classrooms also have plywood in window frames.

The district also needs new restrooms, Shaw said. Younger boys must get on a step-stool to use the urinal in the boys’ restroom, he said.

“And the sink is cold water only,” he said. “During the winter, when we have the flu, we have no hot water.”

Sinks in both restrooms are like those found in houses, not schools, he said. “We need industrial quality sinks.”

Bathroom fixtures date back nearly 60 years.

“For 1954, it was nice, but for 2013, it’s not,” Shaw said.

An awning over a playground entrance was ripped away by recent winds, he said.

The building proposed in the bond issue would feature eight classrooms, 26 by 30 feet. Four workrooms, each serving two classrooms, also are included in school plans.

Shaw said a newer building would be more secure.

“All the windows in the new building will have bonded glass, and there will be an area where children can be sheltered,” he said.

Two previous bond issues, both held in 2012, failed because each did not get the 60 percent voter approval needed to pass. A $250,000 bond issue for a new cafeteria received 56 percent of the vote in March. A $585,000 bond issue for a new high school received 55 percent of the vote in August.

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

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