Early voting starts for Guymon Public Schools Bond Election

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GUYMON, OK (KAMR/KCIT) — Starting Thursday (Oct. 7), Guymon residents are going to be able to make their voices heard in the upcoming bond election.

Guymon Public Schools will host a $75.9 million bond election, which would address the following needs if passed, according to school officials:

  • Safety and Security;
  • Additional Classrooms;
  • Improved Facilities.

According to previous reports, early voting will be Thursday and Friday (Oct. 7-8) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Election Board, located in the Courthouse Annex at 301 N. Main in Guymon. Election Day voting will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

If the bond passes, some schools in the district would be demolished and some grade levels would be moved to other campuses, officials said. These changes were proposed as the district expects further growth in future years, with a forecast predicting the district may have 3,347 students by 2028.

As explained here, the Carrier Early Childhood Center would serve pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade students. Changes would start with North Park Elementary, which would serve second-grade through fifth-grade students. The school would receive an additional 32 classrooms, tornado safe rooms, a sprinkler system, and a ‘secure’ entrance if the bond passes.

Guymon Junior High would serve students from sixth grade to eighth grade, receiving the following if the bond passes:

  • An additional 16 new classrooms, replacing the portable buildings currently behind the school;
  • A renovated library media center;
  • A renovated cafeteria and kitchen;
  • A new commons area;
  • A secure entrance;
  • A sprinkler system;
  • Tornado safe rooms.

Guymon High School would see an additional 15 new classrooms, tornado safe rooms, a sprinkler system, a secure entrance, and renovated restrooms if the bond is passed. Officials previously stated that they expect the additional classrooms would help the high school expand its “STEAM” related offerings, including science, technology, engineering, art, and math, as well as other career-related programs.

Other changes which would come with the passage of the bond also include:

  • Improvements for performing arts, music and athletics;
  • Technology improvements like the addition of electrical outlets and  “additional infrastructure” to ensure the district’s “1:1” technology program, allowing a Chromebook or iPad to be used by every student.

Guymon Public Schools Superintendent Angela Rhoades previously told MyHighPlains.com that because of the age of some of the district’s campuses, there are no tornado-safe rooms and access to technology is challenging. Rhoades said the district is trying to use taxpayer money in a wise fashion, making these necessary improvements.

“To go in and remodel these buildings, we would not be using taxpayer money wisely at that point,” She said. “It’s cheaper for us to add on to current buildings so that we can close some of our really old buildings and get them in newer facilities so that they can accommodate everything they need to accommodate to educate kids.” 

If the bond passes, various campuses, including Academy B & C, Northeast and Homer Long, would not be in use anymore by Guymon Public Schools. Those campuses would either be torn down or repurposed for another use. Officials expect the bond projects to be completed in approximately two years, starting with North Park Elementary and ending with Guymon High School.

Officials previously stated that the taxpayers’ impact if the bond passes will depend on the assessed valuation of a resident’s home. According to previous reports, for homes valued at $100,000, officials expect property taxes to be raised around $11.56 per month and for homes valued at $150,000, officials expect property taxes to be raised around $17.82 per month.

Even with the potential increase in taxes, if the bond passes, Rhoades said she sees it as investing in the district’s future, increasing the educational level for Guymon Public Schools.

“That’s exactly what we are doing because they will be able to see (the investment),” Rhoades said. “We are looking at safety and security measures. We are looking at additional classrooms, improved facilities. We are going to be able to offer more programs and support.”

This is a developing story. Check back with MyHighPlains.com for more information.

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