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Oklahoma City School Board approves site for downtown elementary

An $11.1 million new elementary school is going to be built in downtown Oklahoma City, and a site on the southwest corner of Sheridan and Walker received approval Monday from the Oklahoma City School Board.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: June 7, 2011

School options

While the site of the elementary school is nearing finalization, details about how the school will operate and who will get to attend are not clear.

Former Mayor Kirk Humphreys began last year working on a charter school — a privately run but publicly funded elementary — that would open in downtown Oklahoma City. He said there are 27 members on the charter school's board.

“We've been meeting with the school board and representatives for about nine months now and working to put together a structure for how we might work together for a downtown elementary school,” Humphreys said.

Other options for the school would be for it to be a traditional public school with geographically defined attendance boundaries or a magnet school that accepted students from across the district based on entrance criteria such as academic excellence. The board will have final say.

The proposed school would house 500 students, prekindergarten through sixth grades and would likely have an urban feel designed to make the most of a small footprint in the city, McDermid said.

“Most families with school-aged children do not consider living downtown, and the reason they don't is there's really not good public school options for downtown residents,” Humphreys said.

“They are strongly encouraged by friends and realtors to move to one of the suburban districts. It's a big problem for the city itself. We're trying to break through that, and how you do it, is you have a high quality public school option for folks k-12.”