Election To Decide School's Fate

Friday, February 1st 2008, 7:08 pm
By: News On 6

Lost City could lose its century old school.  The small eastern Oklahoma school district is in debt and it needs $250,000 to dig itself out.  News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon says the question will be put voters, who will have their say next Tuesday.  Super Tuesday is a big day for Lost City voters.  Not only will they choose who they want in the race for president, they'll also decide the future of their school.

The Lost City school bell is the symbol and sound of a new day.  But, the days at Lost City School may be numbered.

"The previous administration really put us in a real bind really did and we're trying to dig out of the hole," said Lost City Superintendent Dr. Monty Montgomery.

That hole is $250,000 deep.  The money is something Dr. Monty Montgomery says his district has tried to raise.

 "We've had carnivals, bingos, dances.  We even had four live bands out here one day, auctions, garage sales, anything we can to raise money," said Lost City Superintendent Dr. Monty Montgomery.

The superintendent says they've even scaled down the staff.  Parents often double as cafeteria workers, and he serves as the janitor, but none of it has been enough.  Now, he says the school may have to be annexed with Hulbert.

"This school has been here for 106 years and it's like a big family.  If you lose your school you lose your community," said Lost City School Board President Sharon Gifford.

The community will vote on the annexation on February 5th.  Sharon Gifford, who is the school board president and has grandchildren who attend Lost City School, says she'll vote no.

"It's like home so, we definitely want to keep it," said Lost City School Board President Sharon Gifford.

But, with the school building in disarray and creditors on its back, the school is running out of options.  Dr. Montgomery says the United Band of Keetoowah Indians has promised to help, but confirmation of that help won't come until after the election.

The district says if its 161 voters approve the annexation, Hulbert will take over its school February 15th.  If annexation doesn't pass, they need someone to bail them out by March because that's when all their money runs out.