By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Today is the day for bond elections in both Chisholm and Fairview school districts.
At stake is a new Chisholm elementary school, to be built nearby the existing elementary school.
Superintendent Roydon Tilley said there are several advantages to building the proposed 77,850 square-foot new school. These include addition of a pre-kindergarten class, enhanced school safety and increasing the size of the school cafeteria so that lunch does not need to be served to one classroom at a time beginning at 10:40 a.m.
The existing school gymnasium, built in the 1970s, still will be maintained and used, Tilley said.
The proposed new elementary school is designed with two tornado safe rooms that, according to the architects who designed it, would shelter 789 people and ought to withstand an F-5 tornado.
Tilley said the storm shelter could be available for community use if a tornado strikes after school hours.
The ballot question seeks $17.9 million for the new school.
“I meet very few people that want to pay additional taxes,” Tilley said. “Bond issues are much different in my opinion than other tax dollars. Every dollar that you pay in taxes for a bond issue is utilized for that purpose. Your sinking fund tax bill is not diluted to pay for a variety of state or federal government programs; 100 percent of the projects listed will be completed with the bond money. If additional money remains, additional capital improvement needs can be addressed with the bond money. Generally, the majority of the bond proceeds stay in our community to assist Enid’s economy.”
Fairview Public Schools has two bond questions totaling $480,000 on the ballot. The first is a $335,000 bond question for construction of a storm shelter at the middle school, and the second is a $145,000 question to purchase one full-size and one mini bus.
Rocky Burchfield, superintendent of Fairview Public Schools, said the district’s concern for a tornado shelter is rooted both in Moore schools getting hit by tornadoes and in too-close-for-comfort tornados that struck two years ago on the outskirts of Fairview.
The proposed 1,500-square foot building is designed with rough-out plumbing and electrical service so to be easily adaptable later as classrooms or other use, Burchfield said.
Gradually declining enrollment means the district no longer requires the number of full-size buses it has, Burchfield said. For that reason one full-size bus and one 29-passenger mini-bus are sought to replace two aging full-size buses.