The Woodward News

Local News

May 15, 2013

Committee preparing bond issue

Woodward, Okla. — The Woodward Public School District's Long Range Planning Committee has a "very busy summer ahead" as it prepares to present a bond proposal to the school board.

Superintendent Tim Merchant presented Woodward Board of Education members with some of the committee's preliminary bond recommendations during the board's regular meeting Monday night.

"These are preliminary figures as far as the amounts," Merchant said.  "As this point, without going through deep cost analysis, these are our best guesstimates for the bond proposal amounts."

He said the final proposal calling for an election to decide on the total overall bond issuance won't be presented until the August school board meeting.  The election would then be set for Oct. 8, he said.

While the final total has not been decided as to how much the district will ask voters to approve for the bond, Merchant said that 3 main "areas of need" have been identified.  These areas are technology, transportation and a combination of addressing overcrowding and security issues.

TECHNOLOGY NEEDS

The technology portion involves both implementing a 1-to-1 initiative that would provide each student with his/her own electronic computing device and addressing the district's connectivity issues by replacing aging servers.

Merchant said the recommendation for the 1-to-1 initiative is to purchase 3,000 iPads for the district, which at the current price of $458 each would mean a total cost of $1.374 million.

"The suggestion is for Apple iPads primarily because of the commitment Apple has to education," Merchant said, noting this commitment can be seen through the variety of educational applications and software that Apple offers.

As for the connectivity issues, the superintendent said the recommendation is for a bond issue of $300,000 a year for the next 5 years so that the district can start replacing equipment on a yearly basis.

"We want to get into a good spending habit of budgeting each year for replacements as opposed to waiting for a big lump sum and boom, we're 10 years down the road and everything needs to be replaced at once," Merchant said.

So together the 1-to-1 initiative and the 5-year equipment replacement plan bring the total technology portion of the bond proposal to around $2.874 million.

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