Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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March 31, 2014

One very big school vote — A total of six precincts, four in Garvin County, will be open Tuesday, April 1 for what one school official calls a really big election in Wynnewood.

With this election Wynnewood voters will decide the fate of $20.3 million bond issue that if passed by at least 60 percent support will go to build a new elementary school.

Superintendent Raymond Cole knows there’s been some vocal opposition to the issue.

He also believes this election could be the one that impacts Wynnewood’s school district for years to come.

“The voter’s decision will effect the next 50 years of education for Wynnewood schools,” Cole said in a letter released to the media this week.

In explaining that statement Cole says it’s typical for school buildings to be used for at least 50 years. Most times it’s even more years than that.

Local examples he gave were Wynnewood High School with portions built exactly 50 years ago back in 1964 and the middle school, which was constructed even earlier.

Cole stresses this election addresses a new grade school but it also impacts middle school students.

If voters pass this bond issue the new grade school would be constructed on the north side of town near the Wynnewood football stadium and house students up through the fifth grade.

With the district’s middle school building facing ongoing problems because of its location in a floodplain, students in grades six through eight would then be moved into the current elementary school.

The superintendent also has a few thoughts on what some opponents have said publicly about this bond issue.

“As you can see this is no April fool’s joke, as it was sadly referred to in a recent letter printed in the local papers,” Cole said.

“I would ask the parents of children who attend Wynnewood schools ‘do you think your children are jokes?’ Or should people who do not attend this school, nor have children or grandchildren in this school, be so jokingly cavalier towards your child’s educational future?

“This most definitely is not a joke,” he said. “Nor is it a game to be won or lost.

“This is about the children and the future of Wynnewood, not just the school but the community.”

As for the community, Cole said the 2010 census shows Wynnewood has the lowest tax rate in Garvin County, while it also lost the most population of any town in the county.

He says it also shows Stratford had the highest tax rate in Garvin County, while also experiencing the largest population increase in the county.

“You draw your own conclusion from that. To me it says if you invest in your schools people will come.”

Open the traditional hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Garvin County precincts open for the election include:

• Trucks Unlimited, located on the northeast corner at state Highway 29 and Interstate 35.

• Bosa Community Center’s conference room in Pauls Valley, located near the high school campus.

• Wynnewood Senior Citizens Center, located at 804 East Robert S. Kerr.

• Walker Fire Department, located on County Road 3330 between PV and Stratford.

Two other precincts in Murray County will also be open for the election, Davis Public Library and Joy Baptist Church.

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