Residents that reside in the Ponca City Public School district will vote on a proposed $49.7 million bond project on Tuesday, Oct. 12. This seven-year bond package also includes an additional $10 million of CARES funds that will allow improvements to the district that aid in the mitigation and spread of COVID-19.
Ponca City’s current mill levy is 22 mills, the lowest among other school districts in Kay County. Passage of this bond issue will NOT increase taxes.
Because the district is receiving CARES and ESSR funds, it will be able to do many projects that normally would have been included in the bond election.
“By utilizing CARES money to take care of so many needs that are typically in a bond proposal, we have an opportunity of a lifetime to be able to impact the lives of generations of Wildcats with state-of-the-art academic and extra-curricular facilities that would not have been possible,” said Superintendent Shelley Arrott.
“This proposed package will benefit every site and will be such a benefit to our school and community, with no tax increase. We have vowed to keep our mill levies at 22 while keeping our current facilities up-to-date and remodeling and erecting new facilities that will enrich the lives of our students. Our community and patrons have been so supportive of this plan that allows for not only academic advantages for our students, but economic advantages for Ponca City. It is great to be a Ponca City Wildcat and to live and work in such an amazing community.”
Adam Leaming, Executive Director of Operations Intern, said there’s 16 bond projects included in this issue, along with an additional 15 CARES projects. “Every single school site will see an improvement,” he said. “This proposed bond package will have a profound impact on our student’s daily life. From extra curriculars to academics, this bond package will make a generational impact not only on each student in Ponca City Public Schools but will enhance our community and region. There are nearly 32 projects scheduled to begin and finish in the next three years, and we’re ready to get going with the passage of this bond.”
Bond projects included in this election include:
Anderson – Po-Hi – This building will be remodeled into a state-of-the-art STEM space with a focus on college and career readiness. There will also be new HVAC systems, new floorings, windows, becoming ADA compatible and moving counselors to the lower level with more office space. The renovation will allow for more rigorous and robust courses in robotics, 3D printing and design, computer science, engineering, digital electronics, aerospace and other STEM-related curriculum.
Howell/MSB/Commons – This project will preserve the history, charm and beauty of the high school while making it feel clean, modern and fresh for students. The entire high school will undergo updates to plumbing, electrical and a more efficient space for administrators, teachers and students.
Ponca City Public School Concert Hall – In 2018 the district opened a state-of-the-art Concert Hall for the instrumental and vocal music departments. This bond project will add three new classroom and staging rooms for the programs. By adding the classrooms, the site will have the ability to host large regional, area and statewide competitions for instrumental and vocal music. It would also finalize the vision for the Concert Hall that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2015.
Liberty Elementary – Remodel and expand main office, flooring in cafeteria, new bleachers, replacing classroom doors and expanding the Media center/library
Washington Elementary – New flooring in the halls, classrooms and work areas and new flooring in the cafeteria and food service area
Lincoln Elementary – Addition for cafeteria with new windows and a serving line, extending the lobby and canopy for more student waiting, new gym flooring and new finishes in each of the restrooms
Union Elementary – New flooring in hallways and classrooms, new finishes in all restrooms, replacing drinking fountains, adding ballistic bullet resistant glass and frames to all exterior doors and frames, replace flooring in the cafeteria and new countertops and finishes in the media center
West Middle School – Finishing the secure entrance by adding bullet resistant glass and metal framing around the entrance
East Middle School – The retaining wall and patio will be reconstructed and made safe and appealing as the drop-off point for eighth graders
Tennis Upgrades – Right now the middle and high school tennis students must change in the city building that was constructed in the 1970s. The students practice on the nine courts that are owned and maintained by the City of Ponca City. In order to host competitions, the district needs a space with 14 courts. Instead of building a new complex across town, the district will partner with the City of Ponca City to add five new courts to the existing complex. PCPS will also replace the outdated facility with a new space that has dressing rooms and provides an overlook for coaches to see the entire complex.
Multi-Purpose Indoor Space – This space will bring another transformative component to the high school campus. When there is inclement weather, which is often the case, athletic teams are on top of one another in the gym. A permanent indoor facility will allow for smooth and efficient transitions between all sports teams. It will create a new outdoor soccer field with locker rooms, bathrooms and concession stand, decorating fencing along Fifth Street to match the campus, adds an indoor track space and a 30-foot ball netting along Fifth Street.
Baseball Complex – The baseball field will be brought up to the standards of a 6A school with a new eye-catching appearance. A new entry will be built off Fifth Street that creates ADA accessibility with an entire solid surface courtyard. The ticket booth and new roof deck will also be built. New restrooms and a new visiting dressing room will also be added. The stadium will be cohesive in appearance to the high school.
Softball Field – The bleachers at the softball field will have a new awning constructed. ADA accessibility will also be gained with new ramps to the field and bleachers.
Anyone that resides in the Ponca City Public School district is eligible to vote in the October election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.