Sequel set for ECP school issue

The sequel for an Elmore City-Pernell school bond issue falling just short of passage months ago is now on the ballot for a fall election.

A few changes have been made for an issue that if approved by at least 60 percent in the vote set for Sept. 10 will bring things like a whole new high school building and gymnasium to Elmore City.

Renee Barber, president of the ECP Board of Education, says one big change from the previous issue is this one is split into two separate propositions – one more focused on the academic side and the other on athletics and extracurricular activities.

“With this we've kind of done a few tweaks to the issue,” Barber told the PV Democrat earlier this week.

“The last time there were people who voted no because of their concerns about it not focusing more on academics.”

She's referring to an $18.2 million bond issue that in March literally fell a handful of votes short of passage.

“It was very close this last time. It was heartbreaking to see it fail by I think six votes,” she said.

“We had to start all over, but we hit the ground running. We formed a committee of 30 to 40 people from all areas of the community that came together weekly to go through what's best for our school.

“Hopefully we've put together a package the community can come together and work to support.”

The new issue going before voters in the ECP School District this fall has two propositions that total nearly $19.5 million in a series over 18 years. Both will be on the same ballot but voted on separately.

The first proposition calls for a new 12-classroom high school building with two additional rooms accounting for new science and math labs, or STEM, and improved security at the elementary school entrances, along with a paved parking lot there.

Plans also call for a STEM lab to be added to ECP's middle school.

“It would add a secure vestibule where you would have to be checked in if you want to go any further,” she said about the improved security at the elementary school.

It totals more than $8.1 million and projects an initial property tax increase of 5 percent in the school district.

The other proposition is more for the extracurricular side, such as sports facilities, the school's ag barn and new instruments for the Badger band.

The projects here include a new gymnasium for basketball, band concerts, school assemblies and graduation ceremonies.

There's also improvements to the Badger football field with a new concession stand, public restrooms, locker rooms, weight room and additional handicap compliant seating for local fans.

This second proposition also includes improvements to Elmore's agriculture show barn and shop and the acquisition of new band instruments.

“On proposition two we've added new instruments,” Barber adds.

“We want to be able to update our band program so the kids can get the instruments their parents may not be able to afford.”

Prop number two totals just over $11.3 million, financing included, and projects an 8.5 percent tax increase.

If both propositions are passed it would raise property taxes by $13.50 for every $100 now paid.

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A three-day filing period starts Monday, July 15 for a trio of Elmore City municipal offices.

The offices include two city council posts, wards 2 and 4, which are both four-year terms, and city clerk/treasurer, which includes a six-year term.

If any races do come from the filings they will be contested on Sept. 10.

The filing period is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, July 15-17 at the Garvin County Election Board office in the county courthouse in Pauls Valley.

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