The Norman Transcript


February 10, 2014

Bond vote will decide schools’ future



If passed by voters, the 2014 bond issue would make the following additions/renovations at both Norman High School and Norman North High School: interior renovations of certain existing facilities to include, but not be limited to, classroom, restroom and library renovations as well as redesigning a portion of the facilities into a Freshman Academy; and building University Centers to include, but not be limited to, site work, offices, classrooms and safe rooms. Norman Public Schools would be the first school system in central Oklahoma to have University Centers.

Norman Public Schools’ administrators and high school principals said that freshman are very different from seniors and each need different support, freedom and opportunities. The bond issue would not only add classrooms but also change how the high school program functions by focusing on the transitional periods during ninth and 12th grades.

“The strength of Norman schools is the support we receive from parents and the community,” Siano said. “With initiatives like this every student has the chance to be their best and succeed.”

The bond issue represents the sum of the district’s bonding capacity for five years. NPS utilized a revenue bond structure, allowing immediate access to funds it would have had access to over five years and use them to make needed capital investments district-wide in a shorter period of time.

The law requires all bond issue projects to be completed within three years of the start date.

In 2009, NPS passed a similar bond issue for $109 million. The 2009 bond issue focused on renovations of elementary and middle schools, and Ronald Reagan Elementary was built. All of the 2009 bond issue projects were completed on time.

The projects included in the 2014 bond issue were identified in an objective process that drew from an independent Norman Demographic Study in 2012 and independent Facility Plan studies conducted in 2007 and 2013.

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