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Mid-Del Schools voters approve $492 million bond package, while Norman and Bartlesville pass infrastructure bonds

Dan Dennis

Voters in 22 Oklahoma counties made their voices heard at the ballot box Tuesday on school bonds and other issues.

Mid-Del Schools bond passes easily

In Midwest City and Del City, voters overwhelmingly approved a $492.7 million school bond package, with each bond gathering more than 75% of the vote. The majority of the funding will be used to construct a new elementary school, 10 new storm shelters, safety and security upgrades and more.

The first proposition funds updated playing surfaces for softball and baseball fields and high school tennis courts, additional space for fine arts at both Midwest City and Del City high schools, and recurring costs like textbooks, technology, uniforms and equipment.

A second bond proposal of $10 million will go to construct an indoor aquatic center to be used for practices and competitions. The schools’ swimming teams had been using Rose State College's Aquatics Center, but that has been closed for nearly a year. The new pool will be operated in partnership with the YMCA.

The third bond proposal of $10.2 million will go to pay for new school buses.

School district property owners will see taxes increase up to $2.75 per month for a home valued at $150,000.

Blanchard Public Schools bond fails

Blanchard school district residents failed to pass a school bond proposal for the second year in a row.

The first bond proposal sought $69.2 million to be used, in part, to construct a football and soccer fieldhouse and a high school safe room. The proposal got 57.2% of the vote, just slightly under the 60% supermajority required to pass.

More than a third of the total – $25 million – would have helped build a baseball and softball complex on the high school campus. High school baseball and softball players will now continue having practices and competitions on the other side of town at outdated facilities.

The second bond proposition, however, did pass, with 65% approval of the $1.5 million bond for new school buses. The school district started the first day of school in August experiencing a district bus catching on fire.

Senate District 32 candidates advance

Voters in Southwest Oklahoma’s Comanche County chose to advance two party nominees in a race to be their new state Senator. The district includes much of Lawton, Cameron University and Fort Sill, Oklahoma’s largest military base.

The six-person race has now been whittled down to Elgin pastor Dusty Deevers on the Republican side and insurance agent Larry Bush for the Democrats.

Deevers won his party’s nomination by a margin of 239 votes, while Bush handily won his race. The two now advance to the Dec. 12 general election. The winner will replace John Michael Montgomery, who resigned in July to become President & CEO at the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.

Bartlesville GO Bond passes

Bartlesville residents easily passed all four bonds in a $17.6 million general obligation bond package (GO bond). More than two-thirds of the funds will go toward street improvements, while additional funds will help build a new fire station, upgrade the city’s operational technology, update Adams Golf Course greens and city park improvements and maintenance.

Norman bridge bond approved

A $50 million, 10-year bond to fund the replacement and repair of up to 18 bridges in Norman passed with 57.6% of the vote. The city is responsible for 80 bridges, with about a quarter being constructed more than 70 years ago.

Three more school bonds pass…

Harrah Public Schools overwhelmingly won approval of a $37.4 million bond package to expand its high school cafeteria and construct a new classroom addition for band and drama programs. The bond also funds security and safety upgrades throughout the district. Property owners will now see an $11.39 per month tax increase for a home valued at $100,000.

With 62.3% of the vote, Catoosa voters approved a $9 million bond to fund 14 classroom additions to its new elementary school. Officials say this will put pre-K through 5th grade under the same roof and properly finish the new school, which is currently under construction.

By an approval of 65.3%, Pretty Water Public Schools voters passed a $975,000 bond that will fund a roof replacement on its main building, renovations of classrooms and security updates.

…while three others fail

Coyle Public Schools voters rejected a $29.9 million bond package. The main proposition was rejected by 62.1% of voters. It would have funded the construction of a new elementary and middle school complex, a new all-sports indoor facility and a new cafetorium.

A $12.7 million bond for Choteau-Mazie Public Schools did not pass, only drawing 57.7% approval. The bond would have funded classroom additions at the early childhood center, a new storm shelter at the middle school-high school campus and more.

Calumet Public Schools did not get enough approval for the first proposition of an $11.1 million bond package. Just 58.4% of voters cast ballots to approve the bond that would fund construction of a new baseball and softball facility, kitchen and cafeteria improvements at its elementary school and replace aging HVAC equipment at its elementary and high schools. But, a second bond concerning transportation did pass by 70.6%.

You can find full results, including those in Nichols Hills, Tishomingo, Laverne, Wewoka, Wyandotte, and more, on the State Election Board’s website.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Ryan LaCroix joined KOSU’s staff in 2013. He hosts All Things Considered, Oklahoma Rock Show, Oklahoma Rock Show: Rewind, and Oklahoma Music Minute.
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