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Central Oklahoma voters to decide on school bond issues Tuesday

Officials in the Mustang school district are asking voters to approve a $180.8 million bond package that would build three new schools and fund other construction and remodeling projects around the district.

The bond issue is one of several matters voters in central Oklahoma will see on the ballot in Tuesday's election.

Mustang's bond issue is made up of two bond proposals: $179.4 million in construction bonds and $1.4 million in transportation bonds.

The construction bonds would fund a number of projects, including new elementary, intermediate and middle schools and a new performing arts center. Mustang Superintendent Sean McDaniel said the district needs those new buildings to help keep up with rapid enrollment growth.

District enrollment rose an average 3.2 percent every year for the past several years, McDaniel said. Some years, the district's enrollment grew by as many as 500 students, he said. That growth created overcrowding, particularly at the district's elementary schools, which are all at 90 percent of capacity or above, he said.

"They're busting at the seams right now," McDaniel said.

District officials also hope to build a new performing arts center to replace its current auditorium, which was built in 1971 and isn't adequate for the district's needs today, McDaniel said.

Because district officials expect to sell new bonds as they retire old debt, officials don't think residents in the area would see a property tax increase. At most, McDaniel said, residents would see an increase of 93 cents per month on a $100,000 home.

In Edmond, district officials are asking residents to approve a pair of bond issues totaling $111 million.

That bond package includes $109.1 million in construction bonds that would fund a number of projects, including storm shelters at every school in the district, track and field facilities at Edmond Memorial High School, stadium upgrades at Edmond North High School and remodeling of science rooms at Cimarron, Sequoyah and Summit middle schools.

In Pleasant Grove, voters will decide on an $810,000 construction bond issue that would pay for construction of four new classrooms that would double as school safe rooms. Pleasant Grove Superintendent Scott Roper said those safe rooms would accommodate every student at the school, and would be open for community use when school isn't in session.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters must show proof of identity when voting. Acceptable forms of identification include an Oklahoma driver's license or identification card, a U.S. passport or military identification card, or photo identification from a federally recognized tribe.

Silas Allen

Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri. Read more ›