A $191 million proposal that would have built four new elementary schools and expanded two middle schools in the Midwest City-Del City School District narrowly failed Tuesday while in Edmond, voters approved a $29.9 million plan to make school improvements and build a competition-ready swimming pool.
The Mid-Del bond just missed passage â€” 59.63 percent of those who voted were in favor of it, but 60 percent was needed â€” causing disappointment with the proposal's supporters.
â€œThe patrons of the Mid-Del Public Schools have clearly stated that their preference is to maintain existing facilities and, therefore, require the district to reduce expenditures through other means,â€ district spokeswoman Stacey Boyer said in a prepared statement.
School administrators had planned to close four elementary schools and two middle schools, then redistribute student populations between the remaining schools and the four new ones that were to be built.
Two other middle schools would have been expanded to help achieve the district's goals.
The move was meant to be one which would save the district money, but now other methods of cutting costs will have to be explored, which could include personnel cuts, school officials said.
â€œWhile all other cost- saving strategies will be explored, the reality that 90 percent of the district's current expenses are directly tied to people indicates that other options are extremely limited,â€ Boyer said.
As part of the plan, Traub, Steed, Highland Park and Sooner Rose elementary schools would have closed.
New schools would have been built on the campuses of Country Estates, East Side and Townsend elementary schools, school officials said.
Traub students would've gone to Country Estates, Steed to East Side, Highland Park would've been divided between Townsend and Epperly Park, and Sooner Rose would have gone to Del City Elementary School or Country Estates.
Soldier Creek Elementary would have been rebuilt on site.
At the middle school level, the district would've closed Jarman and expanded Monroney, and closed Kerr and expanded Del Crest, leaving one middle school each to feed into Midwest City and Del City high schools, school officials said.
School service offices would have been consolidated into Jarman.
Passage to â€˜benefit our students'
In Edmond, school officials were pleased with voters' approval of a nearly $30 million plan to make districtwide improvements and build a competition-ready swimming pool.
â€œWe're appreciative of the Edmond community once again,â€ Edmond Superintendent David Goin said Tuesday.
â€œThe passage of the propositions will benefit our students, ultimately.â€
Most of the money â€” $19 million â€” would go toward improvements at a number of schools, for the purchase and installation of computers and other technology equipment and to pay for security equipment and background checks for district employees.
Bond funds also would purchase athletic and fine arts equipment, including band uniforms.
Another $10 million will go toward building an eight-lane, 50-meter pool with seating for 800 spectators.
â€œWe anticipate it (the pool) will be a destination for state and regional meets and provide for the needs of a growing student populationâ€ Goin said.
About $900,000 will go toward new buses and other school vehicles, district officials said.
All three propositions passed with more than a two-thirds majority, the Oklahoma County Election Board reported.