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Edmond Citizens Approve Bond Proposals to Fund School Upgrades, Curriculum and Technology

Edmond School Bond Pass 2021

Edmond Citizens Approve Bond Proposals to Fund School Upgrades, Curriculum and Technology

May 19, 2021

Tuesday, May 11 was a momentous day in the life of Edmond Public Schools. For the 60th time since 1959, citizens passed a bond issue to invest in students and schools. This unprecedented level of support is one of the reasons Edmond remains one of the most sought-after school districts in the state. Thank you to everyone who voted yes!

The election results are unofficial until certified by the election board. To see results, visit: https://results.okelections.us/OKER/?elecDate=20210511

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the total amount of the May 11, 2021 bond election?

The total amount of the bond election to be held on May 11, 2021, is $65M.

Why is the bond issue necessary?

Passage of the 2021 bond is necessary to construct school additions, purchase land for future schools in fast-growing areas and make repairs and upgrades to existing facilities.

Can bond funds be used to pay teacher and/or administrator salaries?

State law prohibits districts from using bond funds to pay salaries or to hire teachers to lower class sizes. By law, the use of bond proceeds is restricted to the uses approved by voters on the bond proposition.

What are the major projects in this bond proposal?

  • Classroom additions at Redbud Elementary and Scissortail Elementary
  • Construction of a new media center at Cross Timbers and renovation of the old media center into classrooms
  • Renovations and upgrades at older schools (those built before 1990). Northern Hills, Sunset, Ida Freeman, Orvis Risner, Charles Haskell, Chisholm, Russell Dougherty, Will Rogers, and Clegern
  • High School additions and renovations – North competition gym, Santa Fe, and Memorial classroom additions
  • Parking improvements at 11 different schools
  • Technology
  • Curriculum and equipment
  • Land for additional schools
  • Roofing, HVAC, flooring
  • Expansion of the FFA facilities (ag mechanics)
  • Transportation equipment

Who decides what projects are placed on a bond proposition?

The Board of Education ultimately approves the projects.  The process of what is presented to the Board comes from input from maintenance and operations, departments, principals, teachers, and parents (Parent Advisory Committee who meet monthly during the school year).  In this bond issue, parents had requested a new media center at Cross Timbers due to the small size of the existing library,  school renovations at the older schools, parking additions, playgrounds, and marquees.

When will construction on the projects begin?

Pending passage of the bond issue in May 2021, construction on some projects would begin this summer. Every effort is made to complete projects during the summer months when students are not in school.

How will passage of the bond issue affect my property taxes?

Property taxes are expected to remain stable due to increased property valuation in the district and the retirement of other bonds. As we have done with past bond issues, the district has planned this bond issue to keep the millage level stable between 24 and 25 mills. The timing of bond sales will coincide with the retirement of existing bonds to support the district’s objective of sustaining a stable millage rate.

Why is there bond money left over at the end of a year? Why can’t that money be used now?

All bond proceeds are designated for the projects that were approved by the voters in that election. Some EPS bond recap documents from last September being shared on social media show $50M remains in “Unobligated” funds. That simply means that the funds have not yet been spent or put on a purchase order.  A current analysis of funds available from prior bond issues is $19,452,662.

After a bond issue is passed, the district finalizes project designs and puts the bond projects out for bid.  Only after the bids are received and approved by the school board does the district issue a purchase order that “obligates” the funds. The largest balances on the September 30, 2020 bond recap report were from the most recent bond issues for which many of the projects were still in the bidding process. For example, the largest “unobligated” portion was for Scissortail Elementary.  Textbooks were also “unobligated” because the textbook adoption had not yet been selected by the textbook committee. The Heritage classroom addition bids had not been received yet either.  Projects yet to bid or items to purchase for this summer are estimated to be $17,000,000 +/-:

  • Memorial Front Addition and Secure Entrance – $2,000,000
  • Trans. Center Entrance, Road Bus Parking – $1,900,000
  • Technology Devices and Equipment, Software, Network Equipment – $4,300,000
  • Curriculum and Instructional Equipment – $7,000,000
  • Security $750,000
  • Flooring, HVAC, Roofing – $1,400,000

Why does the available bond fund ‘grow’ if every dollar is accounted for?

It is somewhat of a continuous cycle.  Older projects are completed as new projects are coming on board.  The outstanding balances can fluctuate up or down depending on the relative cost of the completed projects versus the new projects that were just funded.  Construction projects are normally completed within 3 years of receiving the funds.  There are IRS restrictions in place that dictate reasonably fast completion of projects and we have a long history of completing projects within that time frame.

How and when does the district receive bond funds?

Bonds from each election are funded in either two or four installments. For example, the projects from the 2019 election were funded in 4 installments: April 2019, August 2019, March 2020, and August 2020.  If passed, the projects from the 2021 election will be funded in 2 installments: June 2021 and August 2021.

When will a fourth high school be built?

With the realignment of the high schools 5 years ago, our three high schools are balanced within 61 students of each other.  Student growth has slowed slightly at the secondary level and increased at the elementary level so the construction of the fourth high school has been put on hold for now, but is being watched carefully.

To build a fourth high school would require a $100M dollar (or more) bond issue. The district has purchased land for the high school at Air Depot and Covell. The construction timeline for the fourth high school has not been determined and depends on growth patterns in the district as well as the passage of future bond issues.

What is the history of bond elections in Edmond?

The Edmond Community has successfully passed 59 consecutive bond issues since 1959. Bond elections typically were held annually. A few years ago, the district began holding bond elections every two years in order to save on costs associated with holding the election.

Who can vote in the election?

All registered voters who live within the district boundaries qualify to vote including those residents who live outside of the city limits of Edmond. Individuals should vote at their regular precincts.

What if I have additional questions about the bond election and voting?

If you have specific questions, please call the district, 340-2800 and your call will be directed to the most appropriate person to answer the question.

If you have questions about voter registration or precinct information contact the Oklahoma County Election Board at www.oklahomacountyelectionboard.com.

Bond Proposition #1 $63,700,000

  • School Upgrades and Additions 
  • School Security
  • Curriculum and Technology 
  • Land for Future Schools 

School Additions: Construct classroom additions to Redbud Elementary and Scissortail Elementary.  $8,000,000

Technology:  Purchase and install computers, digital devices, software, wireless networking equipment, phone systems, and technology support services.  $7,500,000

School Improvements: Improve/upgrade cabinets, doors, restrooms, ceilings, and lights at the following elementary schools: Northern Hills, Sunset, Ida Freeman, Orvis Risner, Charles Haskell, Chisholm, Russell Dougherty, Will Rogers and Clegern.  $5,500,000

HVAC: Improve or replace HVAC systems at Sequoyah Middle School, Russell Dougherty Elementary School and Santa Fe High School $5,000,000

Parking Lots/Roads: Construct, and/or resurface existing parking lots and access roads at the following elementary schools: Chisholm, Northern Hills, Angie Debo, Orvis Risner, Russell Dougherty, West Field, Charles Haskell as well as at Summit and Cheyenne Middle Schools and Memorial and Santa Fe High Schools. $4,750,000

Curriculum and Equipment:  Purchase fine arts and athletic equipment for secondary schools, library/media center books, software subscriptions, instructional equipment, child nutrition and operations equipment, and school support vehicles.  $4,650,000

Purchase Land: Buy land for the site of a new elementary school and purchase properties to expand selected school sites as needed. $4,500,000

North High School: Renovate the Siberian gymnasium. $3,500,000  

Memorial High School: Construct freshman academy classroom addition/storm shelter and renovate the industrial arts building. $3,200,000

Santa Fe High School: Construct classroom addition, renovate freshman academy. $3,150,000

Roofing: Replace roofs of Russell Dougherty Elementary and Santa Fe High School.  $3,000,000

Cross Timbers Elementary Media Center: Construct a new media center and renovate the former media center into classrooms. $3,000,000 

Classroom Furnishings: Purchase student desks, and chairs. $2,000,000

Playgrounds: Improve playgrounds as needed with new equipment and impact materials. $2,000,000 

FFA Facilities:  Construct a new building for Ag Engineering and Mechanics. $1,400,000

School Security: Improve/upgrade security to include electronic security & door control devices, student/staff photo ID badges and card reader systems, and video surveillance camera systems.   $750,000

School Flooring: Replace flooring as needed at Ida Freeman Elementary, West Field Elementary, and Centennial Elementary. $700,000

Marquees and Directional Signage: Update or replace existing marquees and exterior school signage.  $700,000

Gymnasium Flooring: Replace gymnasium flooring at the following elementary schools: Chisholm, Ida Freeman, Cross Timbers, and John Ross. $400,000 

Bond Proposition #2

$1,300,000

Transportation Vehicles: Purchase small and large buses and high-capacity sport utility vehicles. 

Information on 2021 bond election as required by the 2017 Bond Transparency Act.Bond Transparency 2021.03.26

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