Elgin proposes $36.9 million school bond - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Elgin proposes $36.9 million school bond

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ELGIN, OK (KSWO) - Voters in the Elgin Public School District will be heading to the polls Tuesday, March 7th to vote on a $36.9 million school bond.

This is the second time in the last six months that Elgin has presented a bond proposal.  The last one, valued at $45.5 million, earned 53 percent approval, well short of the 60 percent majority necessary to pass a school bond.

This bond has several carry-overs from the last school bond, such as the need for a new ag building and an auditorium, but also added things like extra security and took away changes that would have been made to the school's football stadium.

When the last bond proposal failed, Elgin Public School Administration got right back to work by surveying people in the community about why they voted the way they did. The common consensus was that they wanted less funding for athletics and more focus on security.

In the proposal that was rejected in November, Superintendent Nate Meraz said there were significant upgrades to their football stadium, including new bleachers, lights, locker rooms and turf.

"We still feel those things are very much needed but we respect the opinion of our voters, we are going to reshape this thing, we took some things out, let's scale it down,” Meraz said.

Meraz said those things may still come, but on this proposal, the only things related to athletics will be the locker rooms, bigger bleachers on the home side of the field and better public restrooms. He said they also added items related to security that were suggested by parents.

"Like secure entrances at doors and increased traffic safety, so talking about increasing the traffic flow on campus which is directly impacting the safety of the children,” Meraz said.

But Meraz said some things from the last proposal are sticking around, like a performing arts center.

"We'd like to get a beautiful auditorium, performing arts center where we can host many events and we have a terrific band and we'd like to improve our fine arts department,” Meraz said.

It also includes upgrades to the school's ag building.

"Our ag program is nationally renowned, a great chapter, a gold emblem chapter,” Meraz said. “Their building was built in 1979, it’s an aluminum, metal building and we want to get them into a facility that is adequate for them."

The bond would also add more classrooms and safe rooms at the elementary, middle and high school level, which Meraz said is necessary for the extensive growth of the district over recent years.

"We've grown from a small rural school into where we are now,” Meraz said. “So now we are knocking on 5A’s door where we would be the same type of school as a MacArthur, a Lawton Eisenhower, a Del City, a Piedmont. So, those schools are our peers."

If this proposal is approved, it would be paid for through a property tax increase of just under three percent, compared to the last proposal, which would have increased taxes by 12 percent. Election Day March 7th and Meraz said he hopes those living in the district will head out to the polls.

"We do a good job up here, we take care of the children of Elgin, we give them a lot of opportunities, we have great academics and great extracurricular programs,” Meraz said. “All of that goes into the mix and what comes out is a terrific product, an outstanding citizen who will probably stay in the area and contribute and continue to make Elgin a great place to live."

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