Voters in Miami and Fairland will go to the polls Tuesday, May 14 to decide school bond issues.
Miami voters will be asked to decide on a $19.03 million bond issue during a special election that would fund an addition and renovation of the current Miami High School building, which was completed in 1969, so seventh and eighth graders currently at Will Rogers Middle School can be moved there.
At Fairland, residents are being asked to vote on a $4.97 million bond issue on May 14 that would be used for several construction projects.
Bond funds would be for a student activity center, tornado shelter/classroom addition and improvements to the elementary gymnasium.
Early voting will be available at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex
Community Room from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 10.
Voters will use their normal polling place on Election Day.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Oklahoma law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct-polling place or during early voting at the Courthouse Annex Community Room to show proof of identity before receiving a ballot.
A voter may show a valid photo ID issued by federal, state, or tribal government; or show the free voter identification card issued to every voter by the County Election Board.
A new 22-classroom building at the current Miami High School, which would double the current square footage of classroom space, would house grades 9 through 12.
Proposition 2, which is for $1,200,000 would allow the purchase of new buses.
It would result in a 16.5 percent tax increase, well off the amount that was sought in a 2015 bond issue.
“We’re under the gun (by the fire marshal) to bring the building up to requirements,” Miami Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Hogan said in an earlier interview.
By addressing the fire code issues, that brings others to non-compliance and would thus force them to be remedied as well, Hogan said.
“It has served its purpose, but it is an old, aging facility,” he said “We really looked at that and said ‘$8.7 million; what can we do to be efficient. We realize we have to do this or can be forced out of the building.”
The first, do what is needed to bring the current building, constructed in 1947, up to meet fire codes (a sprinkler system and improved fire alarms) and ADA standards (adding an elevator among other things) as well as electrical, plumbing and other repairs.
The cost to address just those current issues is $8.7 million.
Of they could just start from scratch.
Proposition 1 also would fund a new junior high entrance, a safe room that has room for 1,200 students, a new Dog Hut snack bar, expanded cafeteria seating, a new media center, computer lab and other site improvements.
The new high school wing would be two stories built just south of the current high school entrance and west of the Miami Activity Center.
Work at Nichols would include a sixth-grade classroom addition, storm shelter for all students and site improvements.
At Fairland, the SAC would be the first of what would be part of a multi-phase project.
It would be located just west of the current high school gym and would be used during the day by middle and high school students.
It also could be used as practice areas for basketball, softball, baseball, band and other activities.
Future phases would include additional practice areas, a weight room, locker rooms, support areas and a connection to the existing high school gym.
The new classroom/shelter would be built next to the current elementary school.
“The biggest reason is because our enrollment is continuing to increase,” Fairland superintendent Mark Alexander said. “We don't have a storm shelter for our elementary students. We’re not looking at kids hiding in a hallway or a bathroom any more. We would have a FEMA-rated storm shelter for them to go to.”
Starting in 2020, for every $119 in property taxes patrons’ pay, the increase would be $19.24 annually or $1.60 per month.