By James Beaty
McALESTER — Voters in the Haileyville School Districtwill decide Tuesday whether to pass a $200,000 school bond issue, sought to cover a variety of needs at the school. Polling places in the Haileyville School District were set to remain open until 7 tonight. One of the projects has to do with the school bell system. “Basically, we have an old bell system,” said Haileyville Public Schools Superintendent Roger Hemphill. Some of the bells ring so low they can hardly be heard, he said. “We’d like to replace the bells and intercom system school-wide,” Hemphill said. Another part of the project is replacing the old lockers at the school, he said. When someone visits the school “The first thing they notice are the ugly, ugly lockers,” Hemphill said. He estimated some of the lockers are around 40 years-old. Another project include completion of an unfinished “ag” barn across the street from the school, Hemphill said. Plans are to name the building after the late Bill Grubbs, who spent many years as an agriculture teacher at Haileyville Public Schools. The package also includes the installation of outdoor lights at the Haileyville girls softball field, according to Hemphill. “The girls deserve them, just like the boys,” the superintendent said. Other work has to do with enhancing school security. “We’re also going to do some work on our doors and door components,” to make them better for security purposes,” Hemphill said. “We’re also wanting to put security lights in the parking lot and the back side of the school.” Included in the package is new equipment for the kitchen, said Hemphill. Renovation and repairs of rest rooms are also part of the plan, he said. Another item is the purchase of paint. Hemphill said paint’s expensive. The measure also includes replacement of five air heat and air units, which were once on the roof of the school, but were placed on the ground when the school received a new roof, the superintendent said. Another phase of the school bond package is construction of a new concession building, which would also include rest rooms, for the baseball and softball fields, according to Hemphill. The building would be 20 feet by 40 feet by nine feet, according to Hemphill, with the concession stand alone measuring 20 feet by 20 feet. Plans call for the concession stand to have windows in two different areas, one for customers from the baseball field and another for customers from the softball field, he said. The concession stand would be between the two fields. “These things are very much needed,” Hemphill said of the items covered in the plans. All are listed under a single proposition, so voters will be casting only one ballot, to approve or disapprove of the $200,000 bond package. Hemphill said the bond measure would remain in effect for five years. With a previous bond package is set to expire this year, the ad valorem tax rate for property owners in the Haileyville School District should remain about where it’s currently set, according to the superintendent. “It’s been projected there’s no increase at all,” said Hemphill. Contact James Beaty at email@example.com. For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.