The Norman Transcript

Education

February 9, 2014

Bond issue dedicates large amount of funds to school safety

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Voters will be asked to approve one proposal representing $122.5 million for renovations, safety and security, technology, athletics and annual expenditure projects, as well as a separate $3.5 million proposal for transportation. State law requires transportation be a separate proposal in school bond elections.

The $126 million bond issue is not expected to raise or lower property taxes because other bonds will have been paid off by the time the new bonds would hit the tax rolls.

NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said that the bond issue would give the school district the chance to look at security from a big picture standpoint.

“The bond issue gives us the opportunity to invest in things that weren’t priorities when our older schools were built,” Siano said. “This bond can let us utilize technology and make procedural changes to enhance safety within our schools.”

If the bond issue passes, the following schools will receive secure entry vestibules: Norman High School, Alcott Middle School, Longfellow Middle School, Cleveland Elementary School, Eisenhower Elementary School, Jackson Elementary School, Kennedy Elementary School, Monroe Elementary School and Wilson Elementary School.

Additionally, the following schools would receive renovations that could incorporate safe rooms: Norman High and Norman North both would add university centers that would contain safe rooms; Irving Middle School would get a classroom addition with a safe room and a wrestling facility that could function as a safe room; Whittier Middle School would get a wrestling facility that could function as a safe room; Lincoln Elementary School would get a classroom addition with a safe room and a cafeteria that could function as a safe room; and Reagan Elementary School would get a four-classroom pod addition with safe room.

Kennedy Elementary and Eisenhower Elementary would both have classrooms enclosed. Currently, these elementary schools have open classroom concepts in which a mishmash of materials, including dry erase boards, book shelves, computers, desks, etc., create separation between classes that are contained in one large space.

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