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$89.8M Guthrie school bond issue draws ire of some

Guthrie School District residents are being asked to vote on $89.8 million school bond issue that would raise property taxes almost 24 percent.
BY TRICIA PEMBERTON Modified: August 20, 2010 at 6:29 am •  Published: August 20, 2010

— Some residents in the Guthrie School District are amazed they're being asked to support an $89.8 million school bond issue that would raise property taxes nearly 24 percent.

"They're asking for almost $90 million. That's something akin to what the federal government would spend on a project," Guthrie resident Philip Moseley said. "Don't get me wrong. I would like a new school, but I want something more reasonable.

"I'm retired. I've got a good pension. But what about some little widow woman making $1,000 a month on Social Security and having to pay Medicare? They're not using any type of common sense about this."

The vote will be Tuesday.

If passed, the cost to property owners would be $23.61 a year for every $100 paid in property taxes. On a $150,000 house, the increase would be $354.15 a year.

School officials said the bond would pay for construction of a new 1,200-student high school to be built just to the east of Interstate 35 and north of State Highway 33 on 80 acres to be purchased from the city.

The project also would include construction of a new gymnasium, tennis courts, a track, and soccer and softball fields.

The current high school would then become a middle school, and the existing junior high would be renovated to become a community fine arts center and convention center. School officials say the annex to the building also could house the Guthrie Public Library, the Y and other county or city agencies.

The bond also would pay for construction and repair of parking lots and roads throughout the district, as well as technology equipment and textbooks.

The total cost of the projects is about $65.4 million.

Improvements needed now, school chief says

Guthrie schools Superintendent Terry Simpson said the balance of the bond issue would cover fees, interest and other costs associated with a lease revenue bond.

Simpson admits the request is ambitious.

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Forum set
A community forum on the Guthrie school bond issue will be at 6:30 p.m. today at Guthrie West Christian Church, 1802 W Logan. The forum is sponsored by the nonprofit group Neighborhood Solutions.


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