Jenks Voters Asked To Pass Big Bond

Monday, December 8th 2008, 10:17 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

JENKS, OK -- At first glance, voters might have a little sticker shock.  But, if it passes the $154 million bond will be a major face lift for the district. The bond will mean five new buildings, touch-ups on half a dozen more, all done in the next five years.

Jenks Public Schools is pitching a radical face lift to its voters.  The district is asking for more than $154 million that would put a building boom on the fast-track.

"To be able to do all of the things that they're going to do with one bond issue and be able to get them done in a few years instead of spreading it out over a number of years I think is great," said Jenks parent Nancy Baumunk.

Administrators say a new math and science wing for the high school would lessen over-crowding and give 10 teachers who don't have a permanent place to teach, a classroom to call home.

With voters' approval, Jenks students could be diving into a brand-new pool in three years.  The bond would pay to renovate its current pool, which is 30 years old.  And, add a new one that's twice as big.

The district also wants to build a new multi-purpose student center to house student groups and extra-curricular activities, like ROTC.

The Performing Arts Center would also get an upgrade.

"Our band is in rooms that were built in 1973. The district has increased in size so much since then. And, we've really outgrown the space," said PAC Director Mike Honaker.

The school bond would add classrooms at five schools like Jenks West to help shrink class sizes to state-recommended levels.

It would also boost capacity at the Trojan's football field by 1,500 to 1,800 seats.  And, put a new shine on the district's baseball diamond.

One Trojan mom says it can all be done by retiring old bonds, so your school property taxes won't go up.

"Jenks is going to be able to do this without raising the school part of your property tax. So if it's not going to cost you anymore, and it's going to be that much of a benefit why wouldn't you vote for it?" said Nancy Baumunk.

So why the huge price tag?

Jenks officials say this way; they can get the money up front and get the projects completed in the next five years.

Otherwise, they say they'd have to build in phases, which could take up to 20 years.