Deer Creek School District officials are hailing the passage of a $142 million bond proposal as a turning point in the district’s history. Voters approved the two-part bond issue Tuesday; both measures achieved an 80 percent approval rating. School Board President Jan Larsen said the bond funds ensure the district’s teachers and students will have their needs met for the next eight to 10 years. "We are extremely grateful to the patrons of the Deer Creek School District,” Larsen said. "This will allow us to keep up with the growth in our district and still allow us to stay at the top of the state academically.” The bond measure will pay for the construction of a second middle school near Sorghum Mill Road and May Avenue. The $50 million school will have 30 classrooms, including two art rooms, computer labs and a band/choir room. The school also would get a gymnasium, media center and a cafeteria with a stage as well as athletic fields and facilities. Plans also call for construction of a fifth elementary school near Rockwell Avenue and NW 150 and a 50-classroom expansion at the high school and a $28 million performing arts and athletic center. An additional $10 million would be set aside to buy new computers, classroom equipment and other digital devices. School officials said the first project to be built with the bond funds will be the middle school. Officials hope to start construction on that in January and hope to have the building complete by fall 2011. Jim Benson, who has served on the school board since 2001, predicted the new schools and additions will spur a boom of construction in the district. For the past 10 years, the district has grown by 10 to 15 percent each year, officials said. The economic downturn slowed growth last year, but the district still grew by 8 percent. Benson said the new facilities likely will spur more home construction, but he thinks it also will entice more businesses to move to the area. "I think this is a turning point for us,” he said.
School board member