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Construction Zipping Along On New Bixby Ninth Grade Center

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BIXBY, Oklahoma -

Just two weeks before schools starts one Bixby school is still under construction.

Contractors tell us construction will be complete by the first day of school.

While it may not look finished on the outside, there are just a few finishing touches needed inside.

The new Bixby Ninth Grade Center is stripped down to the basics – classrooms, a computer lab and a front office.

"It's focus is mainly on educational space,” contractor Mike Owen said. “There's not a lot of extra frills."

The $5 million school -- paid for by bonds -- is for ninth graders only.

They'll eat lunch and do extracurricular activities next door at Bixby High School.

Owen said he builds schools all over Oklahoma, and these individualized grade centers are the new normal and more economical.

“There are some savings in this building due to the fact that there's no cafeteria," he said.

The floors are moisture-resistant and each room has a high-definition smart board.

And with the roll of the armor shutters, the first floor becomes a storm shelter.

"To prevent flying debris and glass, it's a very safe FEMA-rated facility.

Owen says they still have a punch list to polish the place off, but the building will be open for learning on Aug. 20.

Owen said his company is already designing a Bixby Public Schools Seventh Grade Center, which could be built if voters approve it in an upcoming bond election.

That would mean seventh, eighth and ninth graders would each have their own stand-alone schools.

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