16 Years, $65 Million Later, Tulsa Public Schools Near End Of Air Conditioning Upgrade

Friday, August 3rd 2012, 11:00 am
By: Dave Davis

It's been a long road for Tulsa Public Schools' air conditioning project, but almost every school in the district now has had their old air conditioning units replaced.

Since a bond issue was passed in 1996, Tulsa Public Schools has made it a goal to get cool air flowing through all of their schools. Total cost $65 million.

Five major TPS bond issues have passed for since 1996, and thanks to them, the district has been able to sink millions of dollar into updating air conditioning units.

News On 6 visited the newly renovated and relocated Mayo Demonstration Academy at the former Wilson Middle School at 11th and Delaware.

The school is one of several sites that will have brand new air conditioning units when kids return to school in a couple weeks.

Director of Bond Projects Bob LaBass says it's been a long road with many challenges -- including thieves who have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars in copper from several school sites. But now, LaBass is almost ready to breathe a sigh of relief.

"Feels a lot better compared to sixteen years ago when we were chasing rabbits at this time of the year. Now, everything's pretty much in shape, so a lot better under control," said Bob LaBass.

LaBass says the air conditioning replacement project at Central High School, scheduled for next summer will be a huge undertaking, but it will mark the end of the 16-year replacement project.