Coweta Voters Weigh Razing Historic School For New Building

Saturday, March 29th 2014, 10:19 pm
By: News On 6

Voters in Coweta are heading to the polls next week for a vote on a $35 million school bond.

School administrators plan on replacing one of the district's historic school buildings if the measures are passed.

The school district is asking people to vote on two items Tuesday, and one of them calls for replacing a piece of the town's history.

If you're from Coweta, there's a good chance you had class at Central Elementary School.

Built during FDR's New Deal through the Works Progress Administration, Central Elementary is Coweta's oldest school building.

If voters pass a bond next Tuesday, the Oklahoma landmark will be torn down.

But Dotson said the old building is holding her kids back.

"We call it our 'gym-a-cafatorium,'" principal Sherri Dotson said. "You can't have breakfast or lunch and P.E. at the same time."

About 350 students call the native stone building their school.

The proposed school bond calls for new buildings across Coweta's growing school district.

Dotson said she's not running out of classrooms, but the 77-year-old building is wearing on her teachers and students.

"We've kept up, it just is more challenging for the district each time you're trying to add some technology to the building and you don't have the wiring that's really sufficient for something like that," she said.

Dotson said there are some safety issues associated with having children spread over a three-building campus.

The plans call for replacing the three current buildings with one new one.

"If you're down in the primary building, you walk over here to come to the computer lab or to the library unescorted," she said. When our teachers are taking them to P.E. or music, of course they supervise them and bring them, but kids travel about."

If the bond passes, the school district also is hoping to add a new vocational agriculture building, a new band room for the high school and a new wrestling room.

Also part of the package will be the new Ricky Bryan Fieldhouse, a 14,500-square foot facility that will include new football locker room, weight room, team meeting rooms and offices.

Polls are open on Tuesday in Coweta from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are two propositions on the ballot: One is for the school facilities, and the other is for transportation equipment.