Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 27, 2011

School projects set for bond issue vote

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Pauls Valley school officials now have a better idea of the specific projects for an upcoming bond issue election that if passed by voters would fund a number of school building improvements without impacting local taxes.

At the same special meeting earlier this week all five local school board members also got a better idea of some larger and more costly renovations that could come later when additional bond funding would be available with local voters’ approval.

During a previous meeting this month the board decided the best way to address some real needs without raising taxes was to ask voters to say yes to a five-year bond issue totaling $1.25 million during an election planned for April 5.

The focus of Tuesday night’s meeting was to use estimated cost amounts to decide which projects will be included in the bond issue.

“We would define the scope of the projects when we get into them,” said architect Wayne Leatherbury.

“Hopefully we will get you in the ballpark tonight,” he said, referring to the preliminary estimates for each project.

After a roundtable discussion board members agreed this particular bond issue, if approved, would fund a long list of improvements at each local school, along with the acquisition of a new activity school bus.

Projects given the green light at the high school were a replacement of toilets and urinals and air conditioning for the auditorium.

Described as the most pressing need is a replacement of windows on the two-story section of the junior high on the west side of the campus. That same building would also get new interior doors.

Other junior high projects include flooring, lockers, whiteboards and a fresh coat of paint.

At Lee Elementary the projects are a loading/unloading area for buses on the west side of the school and kitchen air conditioning.

The projects for Jackson Elementary are a fence around the asphalt playground, sidewalks along Walnut Street, boiler and asphalt for the school’s bus area.

The list of Jefferson Early Learning Center includes new windows for the cafeteria and three outside classrooms, sidewalks along the front of the school and kitchen air conditioning.

Left off the list for now but likely to come later are the more costly projects of renovating the junior high auditorium and an asphalt overlay for a gravel parking area at the high school.

Board members agreed the flexibility built into this bond issue would allow for any unused funds to go toward the start of the JH auditorium project.

“If we did the junior high auditorium this time we wouldn’t have much money left over,” board President Brett Agee said.

“It would probably be more appropriate for the next one,” he said.

The reference was to the possibility of another bond issue election as early as this fall that if approved by voters would provide close to $3 million in funding, which Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa said would also not raise property taxes for residents in the local school district.

“The next bond issue we could look at the auditorium,” Huckabaa said. “It’s not that far away.”

Also being considered as a future project is the renovation and expansion of the football fieldhouse.