Broken Arrow Schools Seeks $295 Million Bond Issue

Wednesday, September 9th 2009, 9:39 am
By: News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- The Broken Arrow Board of Education has approved a BA School District bond election for December 8, 2009. 

The bond election would call for $295 million worth of school and School District improvements over the next nine years.

BA School superintendent Dr Gary Gerber says Broken Arrow is able to deliver a bond election of this size without raising taxes thanks to its use of a long-term bond plan that will utilize a lease-purchase revenue financial package.

"The obvious benefit to Broken Arrow Public Schools would be that this ‘leap-frog' approach would allow our School District to finally catch up on a number of capital needs," Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gary Gerber said. "We'll be able to get rid of portables and add gymnasiums and build schools along with upgrading our bus fleet in a major way without raising taxes thanks to this lease-purchase revenue financial plan that has been successfully used by other school districts like Jenks, Owasso, Bixby, and Yukon just to name a few."

Dr. Gerber says the bond issue's focus is on adding classrooms and upgrading infrastructure. 

In a news release, the district says the bond issue calls for a new elementary school at a cost of $17 million in the current Park Lane attendance zone, a 4th&5th Grade Center at a cost of $17 million on the campus of Wolf Creek Elementary and Oliver Middle School, and a new middle school at a cost of $18 million to be built east of County Line.

In addition, the School District plans to rid itself of some 200 portable classrooms by replacing them with permanently constructed classrooms. 

Another area will be $18 million in technology upgrades for schools

"As our consulting group PEAK Uptime told our Board, we have fallen behind in technology and we must improve that area to meet the demands of a 21st century education that our taxpayers rightfully expect," Dr. Gerber said.

The bond election also calls for an allocation of $12 million for instructional supplies including textbooks, equipment and materials.