Harrah School Board to consider new bond election

The Harrah School Board will meet at noon Wednesday to decide whether to call a May 14 special election on a $36.47 million school bond issue that would be slightly more expensive than one that was recently defeated.
by Randy Ellis Modified: March 12, 2013 at 10:06 pm •  Published: March 13, 2013
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— The Harrah School Board will meet at noon Wednesday to decide whether to call a May 14 special election on a $36.47 million school bond issue that would be slightly more expensive than a similar one that recently was defeated.

School board members unveiled the new proposal at their Monday night board meeting. Controversy surfaced immediately.

Oklahoma County Treasurer Butch Freeman said by Tuesday morning he already had received a telephone call from a Harrah property owner who questioned whether such a quick election would violate the spirit — if not the letter — of a state law.

The law says a district cannot call an election “on the same proposition within four months after such proposition has been defeated at an election by the school district electors.”

Kevin McBrayer, newly elected school board president, said board members believe they would be in compliance because a few changes were made to the plans and cost of the new bond issue.

He said board members would explore the issue further before Wednesday's scheduled vote.

New bond issue is different

Harrah Superintendent Dean Hughes said there are at least two main differences between the proposed bond issue and the $36.105 million bond issue that was defeated Feb. 12. Plans for renovation of an auditorium were dropped and plans for a safe room at one school were added, he said.

Among proposed major projects that remain with the new bond issue are new administrative areas with enhanced security entrances to all schools; safe rooms for schools that don't already have them; a new high school football field; other high school sports facility improvements; eight new high school classrooms, 10 new junior high classrooms, four new classrooms and a physical education building/safe room at Virginia Smith Elementary; a new library/safe room at Clara Reynolds elementary; and new phones, furniture and technology improvements at various schools.

The football field and sports facility improvements would cost more than $9.2 million.


by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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At a glance

Harrah school bond projects

Following is a list of proposed projects that would be funded by a proposed $36.47 million bond issue that the Harrah School Board is considering scheduling for a May 14 vote:

Harrah High School: eight new classrooms, $2,193,500; new administrative area, security entrance and cafeteria, $790,125; sport facility improvements including new indoor facility, cheer, locker, $2,879,340; new locker and concession, $2,752,750; new football field, $840,000; new press box, $200,000; turf, $1 million; resurface track, $215,000; parking, $1,350,000.

Russell Babb Elementary School: new administrative area and security entrance, sprinkler system in existing library/classrooms, $1,252,850.

Clara Reynolds Elementary School: new administrative area and security entrance, $472,500; new library/safe room, $815,000.

Virginia Smith Elementary School: new administrative area and security entrance, $595,000; four new classrooms, physical education building/safe room, $2,460,125.

Harrah Junior High School: 10 new classrooms, $2,651,500; new administration area and security entrance, $437,500; 765 new seats, locker room, restrooms, lobby, $1,760,000.

Technology: $2 million.

Furniture: $150,000.

Phones, roof repairs/HVAC: $860,000.

Architectural fees: $1,359,911.

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