The Norman Transcript


December 2, 2013

Norman residents to vote on largest ever proposed school bond in district’s history

Board calls for $126M bond

NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education members approved a resolution authorizing an election for a proposed $126 million, five-year bond issue at its meeting Monday night.

The bond issue is the largest ever proposed in the school district’s history and would be paid back through property taxes levied within the district.

The resolution calls for an election Feb. 11 to vote on two ballot questions. The first will ask for $122,500,000 to provide funds for improving and acquiring school sites, constructing, repairing, remodeling and equipping school buildings and acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The second question will ask for $3,500,000 to provide funds for transportation equipment.

Chris Cochran, an Oklahoma public finance managing director at Bosc, Inc., told board members that Oklahoma law requires transportation to be a separate ballot question.

After the board’s approval, Cochran said the resolution would be filed with the County Election Board by the end of the week.

The bond issue includes 90 projects to be completed throughout Norman Public Schools.

NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said an underlying piece of the bond resolution was being responsible for existing buildings and building on past bond projects, while working on adding classrooms to deal with overcrowding and investing in freshman academies and collegiate centers.

The school board also discussed whether the bond resolution would raise taxes and confirmed that factors within the school district’s control would not cause taxes to rise, such as the 2009 bond, which has been paid off by the district.

A significant amount of the bond issue would go to freshman academies and collegiate centers, with about $24 million for each Norman High School and Norman North High School. The freshman academies would include renovations and redesigning a portion of facilities.

“Freshman year is key,” Siano said. “If you walk into our high schools now, I don’t think you can differentiate between a freshman and a senior. But we think we should have an approach that gives freshmen a little more supervision and help during that transition.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014

  • U.S. puts off pipeline decision

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely....

    April 19, 2014

  • Garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew set

    A garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew will start at 9 a.m. today at 1510 Melrose Drive....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sonic plans expansion

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. plans to open 1,000 new drive-in restaurants nationwide over the next 10 years, expanding the chain by about 30 percent, the company said....

    April 19, 2014

  • Singing Sooners show set

    The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Singing Sooners Spring Show at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25 in the Sharp Concert Hall, Catlett Music Center. Jim Graves and Stephen Ziegler serve as directors for the group....

    April 19, 2014

  • Study: Half of jailed youths have injury

    NEW YORK — About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City’s jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that’s the latest in a growing body of ...

    April 19, 2014