2019 Commerce Magazine Book_Cmmrc_PROOF1 - Page 19

EDUCATION 36 Stillwater Public Schools Make the Most of 2017 Bond Issue “A major goal is to complete all of the items in the bond projects as presented to the public prior to vote. The timeline for each project is still on track as originally planned.” — DR. MARC MOORE Safety plays an important role in this bond. . The school district has been provided $1 million to update and purchase new security sys- said. Previously, bond issues only consisted of construction, new tems. Security will include cameras, electronic doors and exterior items and occasionally transportation, but funding diffi culties in lighting upgrades “Safety is crucially important,” Stillwater Public Schools board member Stillwater Public Schools is currently in the middle of many exciting changes. In February 2017, voters passed a $75 million bond issue for needed renovations, addi- B ond issues are passed in phases, with one passed each year. The Sangre Ridge Elementary will complete its construction in May 2019. fi rst phase of the bond issue passed, for Westwood Elementary, The last project of this bond issue will be Stillwater Junior High with is scheduled to be completed in August 2019. The middle school a completion date of July 2021. began construction in December and is expected to be completed in April 2021. “A major goal is to complete all of the items in the bond projects as presented to the public prior to vote,” said Dr. Marc Moore, Stillwater Public Schools superintendent. “The timeline for each project is still on track as originally planned.” This bond issue allows Stillwater schools to have 21st-century facil- ities that will be better equipped for safety, learning and technology. Some of these schools have not been renovated for more than 50 years, which limits the opportu nities students currently have in school. “We can fully fund our textbook needs for the next six years,” Moore said. “We are able to provide apparatuses or computers if needed for our students.” Eric Grudgel told the Stillwater News Press. and maintenance are now pushed into bond issue funding. The junior high will also have two areas of refuge for dangerous Although bond issues have changed, this bond issue passed at an weather conditions added into its renovations. Three of the six new 37 extremely high rate. classes will be an area of refuge and hold 350 people, while the ren- “It speaks to how well this community supports the education of its ovated fi ne arts area will hold 1,100 people if needed. youth,” Moore said. The bond also provided the opportunity to purchase $2.7 million in Moore said the school board’s No. 1 goal is to be transparent on how the transportation, including 17 new route buses, three activity buses, money is being managed for the bond and to be accountable He says four special needs buses. It also includes maintenance, which allows it is important to the school board that the people’s input is refl ected the schools to continue to up keep the transportation that they cur- in the projects. They realize the community is giving money so their rently have. children are taken care of, and they take that seriously. Overcrowding in the schools is also being addressed in the bond “We want what we are doing with the bond issues to match our com- issue. Both elementary schools will now be able to comfortably pro- munity’s wishes and desires,” Moore said. “That way, we know what vide space for 600 students. The junior high, which currently uses we are expecting here for Stillwater schools is what our commu- three portable classes, will now have enough classrooms inside for nity wants.” the students and a bigger cafeteria for more effi cient lunch times. The school board will have an on-range facility planning committee Part of the new designs being introduced in the schools are largely and encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering to call the due to teacher input. The board president, Debbie Vincent, said the Stillwater Board of Education at 405-533-6300. board wanted to cater to the teachers’ needs. For example, West- This bond issue allows Stillwater schools to have 21st-century facili- ties that will be better equipped for safety, learning and technology. Oklahoma have changed this process. Some of the materials that were once provided by state fi nances such as textbooks, technology wood Elementary’s construction will include four-classroom pods with a common space in the middle. This space will allow for more one-on-one interaction with students and small group discussion. BY K A MIK A R AL STIN tions, security and transportation for four Stillwater schools. Bond issues have changed tremendously in the last 20 years, Moore