Stillwater News Press

May 5, 2013

Morrison voters to decide school bond issue May 14

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Morrison voters will go to the polls May 14 to vote on a $9.3 million bond issue for the construction of a new elementary school building and upgrades to the football stadium.

The proposed 44,875-square foot elementary school for children in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade would include 24 classrooms as well as rooms for art, band, computers, cafeteria, science lab and a physical education gymnasium.

Security measures for the proposed school include limited entry access for all visitors, magnetic locks to control front entry access, panic buttons at the front desk to alert authorities, a lock down function on all classroom doors, key access to all exterior doors and surveillance cameras with monitors in the front office.

The bond issue also calls for a severe weather storm shelter designed to hold as many as 600 people and improvements to the football field, including upgrades in handicapped accessibility, aluminum bleachers and a press box on the home field side.

“As much support as we have with our schools, I’d be surprised if it didn’t pass,” Superintendent Jay Vernon said.

Vernon said growth in the community has led to an elementary school enrollment increase. There are approximately 320 children in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Vernon said the present elementary school, which was built in the late 1950s, is the oldest building in the district.

He said the building is more costly to repair and impossible to make more energy efficient.

Vernon said the restroom situation at the elementary school has become a problem. First-graders must exit the building and come back inside through another door to go to the closest restroom.

Access to third- and fourth-grade restrooms are accessible only from outside the building. Vernon said this is not safe for students.

Figures released by Morrison Public Schools indicate that property taxes would increase 5 percent if the measure is approved.

To be approved, the bond issue must receive a minimum of 60 percent of the vote.

Vernon said if the bond is approved, the new school could be ready for students in two years, depending on weather and the bidding process.

Vernon will have a community meeting to discuss the bond issue and answer questions about it at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Administration Building on the corner of 2nd Street and C Avenue.