Construction of a gymnasium for West Nichols Hills Elementary School has upset the residents of Nichols Hills. They complained about the location and the reduction of home values. As an active parent of the school for many years, I've attended nearly every community meeting that's been held for its MAPS 2 construction. The current location of the gym was determined by the community several years ago, due to drainage issues. The last few community meetings were co-opted by the mayor of Nichols Hills to complain about the placement of the gym, specifically the wall and how it would be seen from homes that back up onto the property.
These five to eight homes are located in Nichols Hills; the school property is located in Oklahoma City. There were offers to plant trees, paint the wall, plant ivy, etc., to satisfy the residents. The final offer was to move the gym location approximately 10 to 15 feet. This was accepted. The cost wasn't discussed at the meeting. The Oklahoma City Board of Education approved an increase of construction costs by $31,000 for moving the gymnasium. This is $31,000 in Oklahoma City taxpayer-provided funds that won't be applied to students, teachers or help the school or school district in any manner. It's $31,000 spent simply to satisfy a few residents who were afraid they might see a wall.
The City of Nichols Hills should pay that $31,000.
Christi Roselle, Oklahoma City