OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - On Monday night, Oklahoma City Public Schools leaders met to discuss the nearly $1 billion bond proposal for the first time since it passed last Tuesday.
“To say it was a big day (last Tuesday) is just not doing it justice. It was monumental,” said Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) Superintendent Sean McDaniel. “I’ve still got an ear-to-ear grin.”
The propositions on the ballot were:
- $936,000,000 to provide funds for acquiring, constructing, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment and acquiring and improving school sites; or an alternative of acquiring all or a distinct portion of such property pursuant to a lease purchase arrangement;
- $19,000,000 for acquiring transportation equipment; or an alternative of acquiring all or a distinct portion of such property pursuant to a lease purchase arrangement.
Both propositions received more than 60 percent of the number of votes needed to pass. It is the largest bond package in OKCPS history.
"It's not planning anymore. It's not fingers crossed. It is projects coming to Oklahoma City Public Schools,” said McDaniel.
However, what one part of the plan could mean is raising concerns for Capitol Hill High School alum Michael Smith, who spoke out at Monday’s meeting.
“We just think it’s the wrong step,” said Smith.
A document of projects to be completed with funding on the district’s website shows that, “Constructing, furnishing, equipping, and/or acquiring improvements at a new Capitol Hill High School to replace the existing Capitol Hill High School; or in the alternative acquiring all or any distinct portion thereof by lease purchase arrangement,” is on the list.
"Tearing the building down and building a new building doesn't accomplish the same goal as restoring the existing building and putting an addition on it,” said Smith. “Historic buildings anchor communities.”
KFOR reached out to OKCPS about this particular concern on Monday. A spokeswoman for the district confirmed that it is not clear if any plans have been finalized for the current Capitol Hill High School building.
However, McDaniel added that the funding will help OKCPS become more competitive with surrounding schools.
“It’ll put us in the ballpark,” said McDaniel. “It helps us run a district. It helps us pave the parking lot, it helps us replace the AC units on top of a building, get uniforms and band instruments for kids."