The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 26, 2010

Hime: Bond issue would provide room for rise in student population

ENID — Enid Public Schools officials believe they have a winning plan to make some much-needed improvements to school facilities.

The success of their plan to build two new elementary schools, do renovation work in all the other buildings and to renovate D. Bruce Selby Stadium hinges on three key selling points, officials say

First is the confirmed growth of the district and the predicted growth of the district. Enid Public Schools gained 300 new students just this year and has gained 600 students in the last four years, school officials report.

“Enid Public Schools is growing,” Superintendent Shawn Hime said. “We have to, as a community, realize we’re going to be a growing community with a growing population.”

The second selling point, Hime said, is that more than 30 community members were pulled together to help develop the facilities improvement plan. This group looked at the facilities for more than a year and came up with the needed improvements, Hime said.

“It is a well thought-out plan,” said Martie Oyler, a parent and member of the facilities group. “We spent 12 months. We reviewed the sites and discussed improvements to the sites, and we came up with what we feel is a wonderful plan.”

The third and possibly the most crucial key, officials say, is the plan to complete construction of all the facilities in about a three-year time frame.

“One exciting thing that’s different than what you’ve seen in Enid in the past is this allows for the plan to be completed in 24 to 36 months,” Hime said.

Hime said a new financing option allows the district to get the work done quickly instead of five to 10 years down the road as the debt is retired.

“Its feasible that students in the kindergarten will actually be attending school in a brand new school by the time they are in second grade,” Hime said. “That’s exciting to think about.”

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