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Local News

June 8, 2011

School board approves bond proposal

DUNCAN — The Duncan Board of Education approved accepting a $33.4 million bond proposal to renovate the Duncan High School.

Hal Pennington, who led the bond advisory committee, presented two versions of the proposed bond issue during the regular school board meeting Tuesday. One version had turf for the football field. The other version substituted the turf with locker rooms. When it came down to it, the school board chose the locker rooms.

A resolution for the bond issue will be submitted to the Stephens County Election Board in July. Residents in the Duncan School District will have an opportunity to vote on the latest bond issue Sept. 13.

The bond will be set at around 25 mills, which is about what Duncan residents are accustomed to paying. They have been paying the same mill amount since 1998. If passed, the bond issue should be paid off in 10 years.

Pennington said the bond advisory committee had chosen turf over locker rooms in their last meeting. But the turf was one of the items some people were concerned about, he said. He said there was a fear the turf could prevent the bond issue from passing.

“The original proposal had the locker rooms in it,” Pennington said. “The committee understood the value of both of them (the turf and the locker rooms).”

He said the feedback he received from people in the community was that the turf required a lot of money that appeared to be extra. Pennington said the turf would provide more safety to students and would make the football field more competitive with other districts’ fields.

“There are legitimate value in having turf,” Pennington said.

Labyer said the locker rooms are a necessity for the district. She said visiting teams have to use rest rooms and buses to change for games.

Pennington said Duncan students would be using the new locker rooms.

“Our kids would use them too,” Pennington said. “Not just visitors.”

Labyer said the locker rooms would serve two purposes.

“We want to make them, not just more functional, but also enhance the inside of the stadium,” Labyer said.

Eric Davis, school board vice president, said the locker rooms would be better to have on the bond issue resolution because they are seen as a greater need than turf. Davis said he doesn’t want something, such as turf, preventing the passing of a bond issue that could greatly improve the Duncan High School.

“If we don’t pass as bond issue, we move backward,” Davis said.

Pennington said, for the bond resolution to pass in September, it has to get at least 60 percent of the vote.

Labyer said she talked to Center Point Energy about possibly sharing the ballot for the Sept. 13 election to share the cost of the election. But Center Point declined, she said.

“They were very nice about it,” Labyer said. “They just wanted to be the lone wolf.

“There’s no other entity to partner with for a September election.”

Davis said the turf and the locker rooms are both needed projects, but the school board chose the locker rooms as a higher priority.

“We need both of them,” Davis said. “If you can eliminate objections, B (the proposal with the locker rooms) does that.”

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