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New Indoor Multipurpose Facility on Bond Issue

Residents of Ponca City will vote on a proposed $49.7 million school bond election on Oct. 12, 2021. This seven-year bond project is coupled with an additional $10 million of CARES funds to allow for improvements in the school district that aid in the mitigation and spread of COVID-19.

“In the 1990s Ponca City Public Schools vowed to build and maintain state-of-the-art facilities for our students, staff, families, and community while keeping our school sinking fund mill levies EVEN at 22 mills. Since the 1990s, we have been able to do so with the unwavering support from our community, with NO tax increase. The October 12, 2021, proposed bond project, coupled with leveraging our CARES funds to prevent, prepare, and respond to COVID-19, will allow for generational changes for our students and community. While maintaining the lowest sinking fund mill levies in our area and among our peer schools, our students and community are able to benefit from the experiences these outstanding facilities provide with NO tax increase,” said Superintendent Shelley Arrott. “I am so excited about the possible future benefits for the Ponca City Wildcat and for our wonderful community of Ponca City. Thank you for ‘holding that line’ to enhance the lives of our students!”

One of the bond projects included in the package is a new indoor multipurpose facility and new soccer field.

Adam Leaming, Executive Director of Operations Intern, said, “This space is going to bring another transformative component to our high school campus.”

“This indoor facility is incredibly important for several reasons. First and foremost are the logistical advantages it would provide for our athletic programs. When there is poor weather, which frequently happens in Ponca City, our athletic teams will not be on top of one another in our gyms. A permanent indoor facility would allow for smooth and efficient transitions between all sports,” said Leaming.

Also included is the creation of a new outdoor soccer field including:
• New soccer locker rooms, bathrooms and concession stand
• Decorative fencing along Fifth Street to match the campus
• 30-foot ball netting along Fifth Street

“This bond issue has an opportunity to make a generational impact in our community, one that will impact all of our kids immediately,” said Leaming. “As a community, we will be able to look at our facilities and know that 2021 was the turning point when we took our high school campus to the next level.”

Jason Leavitt, athletic director for PCPS, said, “We are very excited about the upcoming opportunity to have an additional field and multipurpose facility. With the addition of these facilities, this will allow our activities to have needed space to maximize student potential.”

“This amazing multipurpose facility is one of those incredible opportunities that would likely not be possible if not for CARES money the district received. I do not like why we received these funds, but I am so excited about the impact this indoor facility and other projects can have on numerous students. All of our athletic teams, spirit teams, and marching band and would benefit from the facility. We do live in Oklahoma and our weather is volatile and certainly not predictable. Last year we were faced with an ice storm in October and a two-week polar vortex in February. These were extreme inclement weather issues, but it seems we have many weather related issues including severe heat, severe cold, wind, rain and a host of other issues that prevent our Wildcats from engaging. The fact of the matter is, we do not have enough gym space to continue with all practices in inclement weather,” said Arrott.

“The soccer field and dressing rooms will finally provide a dedicated resource for our women’s and men’s soccer teams. Currently, the soccer dressing rooms are underneath the home stands of Sullins. They are very small and are in definite need of improvement, and our soccer Wildcats practice and compete at Sullins. Often times multiple teams are practicing on the Sullins field at once. These facilities would definitely make a positive impact on our many students who participate in Wildcat soccer.”

All of the projects can be viewed on the district’s website at www.pcps.us.