McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 18, 2013

McAlester Public Schools to consider another bond issue

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — McAlester Public Schools is eyeing the possibility of placing another school bond issue before voters next spring — but this time school administrators plan to take a different approach.

This time, the school administration is asking to hear from the community before deciding what to present to the voters.

To help obtain that information, a public meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the MPS Central Offices at 200 E. Adams Ave.

“We want our community leaders, other members of the community, families of our children, and our staff, to come and talk about our education and technology needs,” said MPS Superintendent Marsha Gore.

Amounts under consideration for a possible school bond issue this spring range from $4 million to $18 million, although nothing has been finalized, Gore said.

In 2011, voters in the MPS school district twice rejected school bond issues — first in January and then again that October. Both of the votes occurred before Gore became MPS superintendent.

This time, the intent is to focus on education and technology needs and to stay away from athletic-related measures, according to Gore.

Meanwhile, the architectural design firm of Boynton Williams & Associates will be conducting a survey of MPS school facilities.

“They are going to come and look at our schools, as far as building needs,” Gore said.

Several schools are over-crowded, she said. Some schools still have roofing needs and others have heating and air conditioning issues.

Having the survey conducted by the architectural design firm will be helpful, according to Gore — but she said she also wants the input from the community.

“We want to do what the community wants and will support,” Gore said.

“Tell us what you’ll support and we’ll tell you what we can do.”

 Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.