The Norman Transcript


February 10, 2014

Bond vote will decide schools’ future



With about 1,000 NPS students participating in athletics, the district has dedicated a portion of bond funds to athletic improvements. Harve Collins Field, which is the district’s high school football field, is set for several improvements if the 2014 bond issue passes. Facilities and press box improvements, construction of a new ticket booth, installation of new track fencing, construction of certain concessions, restrooms and storage, installation of a new scoreboard and sound system, construction of new entrances and installation of a new vehicle gate would all update the football field.

Additionally, NPS middle school athletics would also see several improvements including middle school wrestling facilities, softball storage facilities with restrooms and concessions. Such improvements to athletic facilities will support extra-curricular activities that engage students and make athletes feel proud to play for the district, Frank Thompson, NPS athletic director, said.

Safety is another bond issue priority that would make additions and renovate schools to create secure learning environments. Placing barriers like secure entryways between intruders and classrooms gives teachers and students more time to react and protect themselves, Siano said.

If the bond issue passes, 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 would all receive secure vestibule entries. Kennedy Elementary and Eisenhower Elementary would both have classrooms enclosed. And various renovations would incorporate safe rooms.

The 2014 bond issue would continue to integrate technology into the classroom and place technology into the hands of every student. NPS officials said they hope technology additions and upgrades will increase collaboration between classrooms and schools, enhance student research skills, teach students to distinguish between good and bad online sources and make students appropriate online users.

Out of the 47 percent of bond funding dedicated to facility additions and renovations, about $22 million has been dedicated to each high school, particularly for the addition of a Freshman Academy and University Center on both campuses.

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