The Woodward News

Local News

August 1, 2013

School planning $29M bond issue

Woodward, Okla. — Woodward School Board members drilled down to the tiniest of details Tuesday evening in a special 2-hour board meeting determine which projects the district would pursue in a coming bond issue vote slated for October.

Topping the list for what is estimated could be a 10-year, $29 million bond issue, were security and safety for the entire district. Also on the list of improvements is the updating of buildings to meet code requirements, transportation and in-classroom technology updates.

If the bond issue passes in October, it will represent no increase in ad valorem taxes, according to Andrew Brian Davis of Stephen L. Smith, Co.. Davis is the financial advisor for Woodward School District. It would extend an existing millage that was a result of an earlier bond issue, he said.

Including professional fees, interest and fees associated with the administration of the sale of the bonds, board members would have about $17 million to work with on actual construction and projects, Davis said.

“I think it is really important to be able to go to the public and say that we are not going to raise your taxes, we are just asking you to extend it,” said Woodward School Board Member Roxy Merklin.

The goal of the board members Tuesday was to pour over line items in the bond proposal in order to include construction and needed renovation to some school buildings in a single bond issue that would meet all the needs within one construction project without having to piecemeal the project through multiple years, Merchant said.

Board members decided on an overall project that will include five new classrooms, two of which are safe rooms and a new restroom, for each of the three elementary schools and a multilevel security system for every school in the district. The plan also includes a renovation of the middle school auditorium as well as the renovation of the high school gymnasium, making it serve several purposes including as a safe room that would be large enough for all the staff and students. The high school’s gym would also have its entrance renovated.

The plan not only provides for the safety and security of students in the district, but also a growing district, Merchant said. In the last two years, the district has grown by more than 300 students, according to Merchant.

Present in the meeting were Joe Hall of Joe D. Hall Construction, who will serve as the construction manager of the bond project and Clarence Williams of Boynton Williams and Associates Architecture and Planning Interiors.  

Williams and Hall assisted board members when they struggled with how best to secure the Woodward Middle School campus, while still allowing students to leave the building to access areas separate from the main building.

Several options, including security cameras and a double entry buzzer system were discussed as well as a fence that will encircle the entire campus.

Also a topic of concern was the cost associated with the plan to renovate the middle school auditorium in such a way that it could serve as the safe room as well as adding an elevator to the facility, making it ADA accessible, Merchant said.

Merklin said she would rather wait to begin work on the auditorium renovation until they were sure all of the safety and security issues throughout the district would have enough funding.

Another concern regarding proposed changes to Woodward Middle School was its entry location just off of busy 9th Street, said Board Member Glenn Billings.

Billings stressed that he was not only talking about the congestion that is caused by vehicles turning into the middle school from 9th Street, but also the security aspects of the arrangement of the campus.

Board members agreed at the end of the meeting to have Davis plug in the $29 million figure to make sure it would not raise taxes for Woodward voters and agreed to come back Aug. 6 at noon to review any changes made to the plan.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014

  • Common Core repeal has educators worried

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — With the Legislature's repeal of tough, new English and math standards known as Common Core, education leaders said they're concerned Oklahoma students will fall further behind their counterparts in more than 40 state which have implemented the standards.

    July 22, 2014

  • web1.jpg Travelers win Connie Mack state championship

    Down 2-0 and down to their final three outs, the Traveler Majors delivered a championship rally in the seventh inning Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • Hearing set on rezoning

    City commissioners will tackle rezoning items and a licensing agreement amendment Monday evening at the regularly scheduled meeting of the City of Woodward and Woodward Municipal Authority.

    July 20, 2014