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Big school bond proposals on the ballot in Norman, Stillwater, Mustang and more

Jenny Mae Harms

Voters in 62 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties have something to vote on during the primary and special election on Tuesday, February 14.

Early voting takes place Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. While most early voters will cast ballots at their local county election board, others will not. You can find your early voting location here.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ballots will be cast in races for city council members, school board members, mayors and county clerks.

More than a dozen school bond proposals also appear on ballots across the state. Below, we’ll highlight four school bond proposals to watch.

Norman Public Schools

Norman voters will decide the fate of a massive 10-year, $353.9 million bond proposal package.

Big ticket items to be funded by the package include a more than $24 million upgrade to the Norman North football stadium, which is currently only used by freshman and junior varsity squads. The school's varsity team has shared Norman High’s football stadium for home games for more than 25 years.

Norman High's football stadium will also see some upgrades, while more than $32 million will go toward the construction of a stand-alone facility for the Oklahoma Aviation Academy at Max Westheimer Airport.

Other projects to be funded include a new all-schools fine arts performance auditorium, a new animal barn for the FFA program and dozens more.

Officials say approval of the bond package will not result in new taxes for residents.

More information can be found here.

Stillwater Public Schools

Two school bond propositions will be before Stillwater voters, totaling $195 million over 10 years.

Forty percent of that cost is attached to the construction of a new two-story high school building, which would be built north of Pioneer Stadium, in the current location of Cimarron Plaza.

“The existing Stillwater High School was built in 1960,” says Stillwater Schools Superintendent Uwe Gordon. “The round top gym is even older, and when you walk in there, it’s like you’ve stepped back to the 50s.”

Other improvements include renovated athletic facilities, and the purchase of four swimming lanes at the new YMCA.

The bond will not add any new or additional taxes for residents. If approved, construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2023.

More information can be found here.

Mustang Public Schools

Mustang voters will cast ballots on two bond propositions, totaling nearly $181 million.

Nearly 43% of that total will fund the construction of new classrooms, gym, cafeteria and more at the high school. Another big chunk of the total – nearly 34% – will go toward the construction of a new elementary school, at a location yet to be determined.

Additional funds will go toward new heating and air conditioning systems, upgraded technology and updated playground equipment.

School officials estimate the bonds will cost the average Mustang household $4.34 per month.

This bond issue represents the first phase of a three-phase plan. Officials say the second and third phases will likely be proposed in 2027 and 2031.

More information can be found here.

Coyle Public Schools

Coyle Public Schools looks to pass a $24.3 million bond proposal to construct a new elementary/middle school. Parts of the current building were built in the 1930s.

Funds would also go toward constructing a new multipurpose building / cafeteria.

Officials project a 20% increase in taxes for residents if the proposal passes.

More information can be found here.

Public school systems at Bartlesville, Garber, Jenks, Skiatook, Union and more also have school bonds up for a vote this go around.

Bond issues require a 60% supermajority to pass.

Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
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