- Ada, Oklahoma

April 1, 2014

Ada voters OK bond proposals

Eric Swanson Staff Writer

Ada — Ada City Schools patrons gave their blessing Tuesday to the district’s proposals for a series of capital improvement projects.

Voters authorized the district to issue $16.70 million in bonds for construction projects, building renovations, technology upgrades and new buses for the district’s transportation fleet.

The bond issue proposal for construction projects garnered 718 “yes” votes and 320 “no” votes, according to unofficial election results. The proposal for transportation upgrades picked up 727 “yes” votes and 318 “noes.”

Nearly 70 percent of voters approved both proposals, which needed to win at least 60 percent of the vote to pass.

Superintendent Pat Harrison said he appreciated voters’ willingness to support the school district.

“How gratifying it is to know that what’s important to us is also important to our patrons,” he said. “A big ‘thank you’ goes out to all of those in our community who support what we do.”

With the election behind them, district officials will start seeking bids so they can sell the bonds. The proceeds from the bond issue will generate:

• More than $5.2 million for building safe rooms, which would double as science/technology classrooms or band/music rooms, at five school sites.

The class room additions would meet federal standards for safe rooms, and they would be large enough to accommodate students and staffers in case of severe weather.

Part of the $5.2 million will go toward installing secure entrances at each school, including the central office.

• About $3.9 million to replace the roof at seven schools.

• About $1.8 million for school renovations.

• More than $76,000 to upgrade athletic facilities at seven sites.

• Roughly $500,000 to buy more buses for the district’s transportation fleet.

• About $190,000 to upgrade educational technology at each site.

The remaining funds will be used to cover the debt service on the bonds, and the district would have 12 years to retire the bonds.

Harrison said bond advisers have told district officials that funds for the projects would probably be available by late summer.

“So we’ll proceed first with more specific plans for the building projects that we’ve got in front of us and begin the task of trying to nail down exact costs for the projects and then proceed from there,” he said. “When we get the funds, then we’ll be ready to start some work in trying to get some of these projects completed.”

Harrison said the district’s architects have said they thought the projects could be completed within three years.

District patrons will see their taxes go up due to the bond issues. Patrons will pay an additional 789 cents for every $100 of property taxes they paid in 2013, for a total annual increase of $9.36 for each $100 in taxes.

The district’s mill levy is currently set at 10.81 mills, but passage of the bond issues will raise that figure to 18.50 mills.

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