McAlester Event Center

McAlester Public School Board of Education members discussed a $34-million bond proposition during Monday's meeting.

A bond proposition for a new event center and middle school could be put to a vote in McAlester — without a tax increase.

McAlester Public Schools Board of Education members heard plans for a $34-million bond proposal for a new multi-level facility planned for construction near the existing high school during Monday’s meeting before voting to approve agreements with architects and financial consultant firms related to the project.

Plans show the planned middle school has at least a dozen classrooms on each of the two levels, several labs, a 1,808 capacity gym with rooms for band and wrestling, an outdoor amphitheater, and more.

“It wouldn’t raise taxes,” said MPS Superintendent Randy Hughes.

The bond proposition would be for $34 million over 20 years with no tax increase if approved by voters within the school district.

Plans for the facility show 13 classrooms, a library, lab, STEM room, tech ed room, hospitality, storage and more on the lower level. The upper level plans show 12 classrooms, one lab, several offices, a kitchen, cafeteria and more. An outdoor amphitheater would seat 240 students.

The new facility would be built on the hill between the existing high school and East Van Buren Avenue, plans show.

A bond proposition would have to be approved by the board during the November meeting for it to be filed in time for a Feb. 9, 2021 bond election.

Board members approved during Monday’s meeting Stephen H. McDonald and Associates, Inc. as a financial consultant to the district and approved an agreement with Architects In Partnership related to the bond proposal project.

Hughes said the district has worked toward a plan for a multi-million bond proposition over the past four years.

“We started with the dream of one day being able to do something,” Hughes said.

J.C. Leonard, vice president at Stephen H. McDonald and Associates, Inc., told board members the district had one of the lowest millage rates in the state.

He said the firm proposes a series of bonds for a total of $34,935,000 between 2021 and 2041 at the current 13.25 millage rate.

Leonard said that will provide $24.3 million to $25 million in projected fund to construct the projects, which would include all the costs outside of financing the facility.

"It's just like you would finance a car, or finance a home," Leonard told board members.

If voters approve the bond proposition, Hughes said construction could take 2-3 years to complete and the plan includes options for restructuring MPS campuses.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at aohanlon@mcalesternews.com

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