School bond referendum on the ballot in Antlers

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

ANTLERS, Okla. -- The school year is just underway across the Sooner State. In Antlers, school officials are starting the year off with a bond election for improvements from the elementary school to the football field.

On this overcast day, a trash can takes up a desk in a sixth grade classroom at Obuch Middle School. The ceiling sometimes leaks when it rains. The roof is flat, and school officials say a new, pitched roof will help fix that problem.

"The new technology allows us to put a pitched roof over the air conditioning units so we’ll save a lot of money by using that technology," Superintendent Mark Virden says.

Antlers Public Schools are asking voters to approve an $8.7 million bond referendum. It would be the first in about 20 years. The measure would convert Obuch into another elementary building and build a brand new middle school closer to the high school. Elementary school students currently have to cross the street to go to the cafeteria and music room. The improvements would put them in one building.

"I graduated from Antlers High School. In fact, my principal, Mr. Jones, this was his office, and now it's my office."

Pam Matthews has been with the district for 27 years. She is the middle school principal now, and says the building is not in the same shape as when we walked the halls as a student.

"We still call our new gym ‘the new gym’ and it's 20 years old. I can just imagine 29 years from now students calling it the new middle school and I helped to make it happen."

The bleachers at the football field would be replaced if the bond is approved.

The average tax increase would be about $33 per $100 of taxable property annually, according to officials.

Voters go to the polls August 26th to decide if they are willing to pay for the changes.


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