MAPS for Kids begins to wind down in Oklahoma City

Five schools remain on the list for renovation as part of Oklahoma City's MAPS for Kids program. In addition, decisions have yet to be made on construction of the planned downtown elementary school.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: January 15, 2012
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A decade's worth of construction and other MAPS for Kids projects will begin to draw to a close in 2012, with only six schools left in Oklahoma City's district where construction is yet to begin.

One of the six schools is the proposed downtown elementary school, which also has some administration offices included in the project. Five schools that currently have students also remain, with renovation work set to begin in the coming months at Roosevelt, Jefferson, Webster, Taft and Rogers middle schools.

City officials have been pleased by how the projects have turned out, said city Public Works Director Eric Wenger, who used to oversee the MAPS program. He was succeeded by Mark Carleton, who died in September. The job is now David Todd’s, a local engineer who started with the city this month.

“We prided ourselves on the fact we followed a strict set of standards throughout the process, regardless of if it was a north side school or a south side (school), or if it came first or went later in the program,” Wenger. “The level of quality was maintained over the last decade in construction, and it's going to be done basically all within the original budget.”

Some funds remain

About $97 million of the $700 million MAPS for KIDS budget remained late last year, according to the program's most recent financial records. About $86 million of it is for Oklahoma City Public Schools projects like the downtown elementary and middle schools, and the remaining $11 million or so is for districts like Putnam City that have students who live in Oklahoma City.