Voters in the El Reno School District turned down $44.5 million in bond issues that would have built a new high school and renovated almost every other school in the district.
The 12-year bond issue would have increased property taxes by an estimated 6.6 percent which is about is an increase of $66 on a tax bill that's typically $1,000.
Oklahoma school bonds require a 60 percent majority to pass. The first proposition, for the new school and almost all the renovations, failed with 51 percent of the voters voting in favor of the proposal. The final count was 990 votes for the bond issue and 946 against.
A second smaller bond issue for transportation and technology improvements in the district also failed with almost 52 percent of voters approving of the indebtedness.
Edmond bond passes
In Edmond, voters continued a streak of passing the last 54 consecutive school bond issues over the past 50 years.
Tuesday night they resoundingly approved the plan to construct a new elementary school and expand and renovate several others with about 73 percent approval. The $35.54 million in bond issues will not increase taxes because it replaces debts that have been paid off by the district.
“We have grown pretty dramatically, certainly in the last several years, and this year alone by over 670 students,” Edmond Superintendent David Goin said Tuesday after election results were in. “It will help us meet our growing capacity and it will also help us in implementing our full day kindergarten programs at other sites.”
Goin thanked the public for the incredible support of the district.
“It's just been so long-standing and outstanding,” Goin said.
About $15 million will go to the new elementary school which will help meet the needs of a growing student population in west Edmond.
Additions and renovations are planned at the following schools with these estimated costs: Angie Debo Elementary, $2.3 million; Centennial Elementary, $2.2 million; Washington Irving Elementary, $2.5 million; Northern Hills Elementary, $2 million; Boulevard Academy High School, $3 million.
Several schools throughout the district will also receive new roofs, security and energy conservation upgrades and new heating and cooling systems.
A smaller bond issue was also approved by voters for $900,000 in transportation equipment.
Norman shelter approved
In Norman voters approved a $3 million expansion of the city's animal shelter.
The five-year bond issue for the expansion will increase property taxes by about $11 on a home worth $100,000. The proposition passed with almost 76 percent approval.
Currently the shelter holds 55 dogs and 25 cats. The shelter is projected to need space for 77 dogs and 57 cats in the year 2030.
Police Maj. J.D. Younger, who oversees the Animal Welfare Division in Norman, said that currently some adoptable animals are killed because there isn't space at the shelter. The expansion will help them meet the need for more adoptions.