McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

December 19, 2010

McAlester bond would move classes out of trailers

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Some McAlester Public Schools students continue to be taught in portable buildings which, although they have siding on them, are still trailers.

Those who are supporting the new McAlester school bond issues are ready for that to change — if a wide-ranging measure passes which supports new construction and capital improvements to MPS, along with a companion transportation measure.

Voters in the McAlester School District will decide during the upcoming Jan. 11 Special Election whether to pass the propositions.

Proposition One asks voters to pass $33,875,000 in capital  improvement bonds. The measure centers on new construction and renovation at a number of sites at McAlester Public Schools.

Proposition Two seeks passage of $1 million in transportation bonds. School administrators want to purchase eight new buses and make other transportation-related safety and communications  improvements.

Part of the money for capital improvements would be spent upgrading a number of schools, which is coupled with the administration’s plans to join students in the earlier grades at the same school, as opposed to several schools throughout the district, which is the current approach.

Among the hoped-for changes: Stop using the trailers as portable classrooms.

“There’s a couple at Puterbaugh and a couple at Will Rogers,” said McAlester Public Schools Supt. Tom Condict. “We would like to eliminate those.

“The permanent structures are more sound, more energy efficient, look better — and they’re safer,” Condict said.

A portion of the plan calls for the construction of safe rooms at Emerson, Will Rogers/Puterbaugh, Parker and at  McAlester High School.

Contact James Beaty at