Marlow's only elementary school crumbling - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Marlow's only elementary school crumbling

Marlow_Marlow's only elementary school has seen better days, and while the teachers say they love teaching and their students, they say they have outgrown the old building.  There have been additions to the building over the years, but more construction is no longer an option, and lack of space isn't the only problem.  The building has water damage, and is crumbling from age. 

Just more than 700 students attend class there on school days, and the structure is only designed to accommodate half that number.  The additional kids and teachers add to the wear and tear of the aging and worn out building.  It suffers from crumbling walls, constant flooding, and a shortage of funding, forcing teachers such as Pam Cloyd to teach in impractical conditions.  "We were told two years maybe, that they [classrooms] were temporary," she said.  "Now we're in our 11th year - this is our 11th year in here."

Superintendant of Marlow Schools George Coffman plans to introduce another bond issue - different from the two before it - and he says this one must pass.  "The longer you wait, the more it costs," he said.  If the bond would have passed a few years ago, a new school could have been built for $2.2 million.  Today, that number will double, and Vice Principal of Marlow Elementary, Brooke Holding, says the price tag is a bitter pill they're willing to swallow.  "As a school we want to try to continue to attract kids - parents want to send their children to a nice place," she said.  "We also want to attract good quality teachers who want to come to a place that's nice to work in."

If the new bond does not pass, students will be shuffled from playground to playground to make room for each class, more classrooms will be uninhabitable because of flooding, and in bad weather, kindergartners will have to seek shelter in the cafeteria.  "Sometimes we've been in there for two hours waiting for a storm, so you're talking about wasted educational time, and just the safety [issue]," said Holding.

Coffman says the bond will allow teachers to give students the education they need to become successful.  "We could have the next Barack Obama walking the hallways, John McCain, or Derrick Jeter," he said.  "I just think our kids deserve great opportunities."  The biggest challenge the school faces is flooding.  The school playgrounds actually sit where a pond used to be.  In inclement weather, the gymnasium floors can be covered in about six inches of water.  Coffman says he would have introduced the bond issue as early as this month, or in October, but because of the November general election it has been postponed to November or December.

Count on 7News to keep you updated.

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