The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

October 6, 2013

Pond Creek-Hunter voters to determine bond issue

Voters in the Pond Creek- Hunter school district will take to the polls Tuesday to be heard on an $11.5 million bond question.

The ballot proposition reads that funds will be for construction; equipment; repairing and remodeling school buildings; acquiring furniture, fixtures and equipment; and acquiring and improving school sites.

School board member Micah Barr said several projects are on the agenda if the initiative passes.

“One of the most important things we’d like to do is, we need a new HVAC unit for the high school,” Barr said.

The system hasn’t been working effectively, Barr said.

“It just doesn’t seem like it’s got the oomph for the job anymore,” Barr said.

Jeff Scott, president of the school board, concurred.

“It’s a very aged, outdated system,” Scott said. “As they age out you have real problems trying to keep that system repaired and it does become challenging.”

Two construction projects the district hopes to accomplish are a gymnasium and a multi-purpose safe room where students, and possibly members of the community as well, would be safe in the event of a tornado or other incident. Because of the proximity of a water tower, an above-ground safe room is planned.

“What we have previously used for a safe room is a basement under the bleachers in our gymnasium,” Scott said. “Whoever was down there, there could be potential drownings because of the water tower.”

“In the event of a catastrophic event, we’d need to be above ground,” Barr said.

Barr said the safe room’s capacity would be about 600 people. That exceeds the number of students, faculty and staff.

“The safe room is intentionally designed to provide more than enough space for the children and faculty, but additional townsfolk as well,” Barr said. “The volunteer fire department would perhaps be authorized to open it up for the community.”

New windows also are on the district’s wish list.

“We’d like to replace the windows and go to a more energy-efficient window,” Barr said.

Any homeowner knows windows have to be replaced from time to time, Scott said.

Barr also said major improvements are planned for the football field, including restroom improvements and a track around the field.

“I guess from a personal standpoint, I’d really encourage the entire district to get out there and vote,” Barr said. “These things would improve our schools and be good for the students and the community. I’d encourage both sides to get out there and vote — it is a community decision.”

“Everything we are attempting to do with this bond issue also helps our community members,” Scott said. “What’s good for a school, is good for the community.”

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