$1.4 million school bond on the ballot in Hugo

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HUGO, Oklahoma -- Hugo Public Schools are hoping the third times a charm, attempting to pass a school bond that would build a new high school.

Next month Hugo residents will be asked to vote on the $1.4 million bond, that if passed would get students out of the almost 100-year-old building.

"Our students and our community deserves better than this." said superintending Karen Lyles.

The city has accumulated four million dollars through sales tax and the bond would supply the difference to build a $5.4 million school.

A life-long Hugo resident says his whole family went to high school in the same building.

"The schools old." said Hugo resident Marcus Simpson. "I went to school there, my parents went to school there and I think my grandparents went to school there. It's pretty well tore up inside and we do need a new school"

Cracks in the walls and foundations of the building are safety concerns and leaks have caused flooding in the basement, forcing teachers to move their kids upstairs to much smaller classrooms.

"Like sardines in a can." said school teacher Carla Rabon.

During the hot summer window air conditioner units are used to cool classrooms and during the winter students sit next to hot pipes from the boiler.

"We are heated by an antiquated boiler and instead of freezing, you burn up." said Rabon. "We're forced to run air conditioners and boilers at the same time."

Teachers believe the new building would provide students with a new outlook on learning.

"I think it would definitely give us a new sense of pride and our students are not second rate to anyone and they should not feel that way." said Rabon.

Before the town hall meeting next Thursday, school officials will lead tours though the school showing citizens why a new school is needed.

If the bond passes, property taxes would increase 8.9 percent. A home valued at $50,000 would pay an extra $2.54 per month.

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