McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 11, 2013

Important bond task force meeting rescheduled to not interfere with another community event

By MJ Brickey
Digital Editor

McALESTER — At Monday night's regularly scheduled McAlester Public Schools Board of Education meeting, MPS Superintendent Marsha Gore said a Bond Task Force meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. has now been rescheduled to not interfere with another community event.

The meeting still scheduled to take place at the Old McAlester High School at 200 E. Adams Ave., but will be at 11:30 a.m.

Recently Gore proposed the community form a Bond Issue Task Force made up of 25 members to represent a cross section of the school district and community.

So far the Bond Task Force has 18 members. Gore said the community is the school district’s greatest resource and the schools want to maximize that resource through asking for involvement in the process of bond development and improvement. Those interested in joining the task force can contact the MPS administration office at 918-423-4771.

She said she would facilitate the meetings at which feedback and suggestions from the community would be reviewed. Then, she said the group would review and determine what the school district’s short- and long-range capital needs are.

Voters have rejected school bond issues twice already — in January and October of 2011.

There were two proposals in January — $34 million for building renovation, new classrooms and  an events center, as well as athletic facility renovations, and $1 million for buses. The issues needed 60-percent voter approval, both failed.

Then 10 months later, MPS asked for $11.8 million for construction, repairs and equipment, and $500,000 for buses. Again, the issues failed by more than 50 percent.

Gore said this time the schools are reaching out to the community for public opinions and ideas. She said the method has been proven to work for other communities.

She said the schools need the community’s feedback and suggestions as to how the schools can provide students with better educational and technological tools as well as facilities and security equipment.

Contact MJ Brickey by email at mjbrickey@journalist.com.

Stay tuned for more on Monday's board of education meeting...