WAURIKA, Okla. (TNN) - Next month, voters in Waurika will decide if they want to pass or reject a school bond issue for $1.3 million. If it passes, the bond will increase property taxes by seven percent. So, if you usually pay $500 in property taxes, it will increase to $535 in the first year.
The money from the bond will be used for transportation, technology, building, and security updates. Dented instruments that students can no longer use, old playground equipment, and a dilapidated concession stand at the football field are just a few of the things they want to replace. Waurika Public Schools Superintendent, Cody Simmons, said the bond touches all aspects of education.
“There’s nothing on this bond issue that we just want,” he said. “Everything on here is a need.”
Simmons said the district wants to be up to date when it comes to technology, so he’s hoping to get smart boards and interactive whiteboards for teachers in all of the core classrooms.
“We’re looking at chrome books for our students in 3rd through 12th grade,” Simmons said. “Which will help them become better members of society and be better prepared for what they’re going to see in the future whether they’re college-bound or they go straight in the workforce, technology is a thing of the future, and right now we do not have that available to our students.”
“I’m really looking forward to the technology part of it,” Teacher Ashley Taylor said. “Our kids getting to keep up with what other kids in surrounding schools are doing. I think it’s going to be awesome and better prepare them for their futures.”
An upgrade to the high school and middle school’s air conditioning system is also part of the bond. If it passes, they’re going to get central heating and air. Right now, the units that go to each classroom are 20 years old, and since the school year started, they’ve already had problems cooling the school.
“It’s not fair to our students,” he said. “And it’s not acceptable for our students to be able to come to school where they feel comfortable and safe and not have the adequate tools whether it be heat and air or whatever that might be.”
Part of the middle school roof blew off last October, and now there are several places where it leaks every time it rains. Replacing old playground equipment at the elementary school is also on the list.
“We want to make sure they have the best, and everything they have is safe on the playground,” he said.
Simmons said if it passes, they can start making upgrades as early as February. He said they plan on starting with transportation, technology, and air conditioning upgrades.
The vote is September 10th.