Plan for a lot of construction at Muskogee schools over the next few years.
Muskogee Public Schools Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall said voters approved on Tuesday the biggest bond package in district history at $110 million.
"We’re going to wind up either remodeling or replacing every school site in the district, so it’s a really big bond issue that’s really going to make an impact on our community and our kids," Mendenhall said.
Projects include new or renovated schools with secure entrances. Some existing schools are 80 years old. Mendenhall said new or renovated schools will be better for students.
"You know, it doesn’t automatically equate to higher test scores, but that’s really not our focus. Our focus is really trying to make sure that we have a good environment and the kids have the very best environment to learn in," Mendenhall said.
The bond proposal got more than two-thirds of the vote despite carrying a property tax increase. Homeowners with a house valued at $100,000 will pay about $10 more a month in property taxes for the next 16 years.
Mendenhall said he takes that as a sign of trust in the district’s plan to invest in students.
"Our bond millage was the lowest across the state as far as 6A school districts. And so, I said, 'You know, it’s going to cost us some money to really go do this and do it well and do it right,'" Mendenhall said.
The bond package will also pay for a new field house and football stadium at a total cost of $32 million and an expanded performing arts center. All projects should be completed by mid-2023.