I’m thankful that mother nature has been kind as the spring semester has gotten off to a smooth start. This Sunday, January 27th, we will host a public open house for the community to tour Charter Oak Elementary School from 2:00 until 3:30 p.m. We will have a short ceremony at 2 p.m. in the cafeteria followed by time to browse around the school. We are very excited about the new building and eager to show it off to our community.
The Guthrie Board of Education has been working with our architect to identify future bond projects. Thanks to a favorable bidding climate, the projects we identified as top priorities for the 2015 bond issue are mostly complete and have been under budget. This allows us to expand the scope of the work for some pressing issues with the available funds such as replacement of the remainder of heating and air conditioning units at Fogarty Elementary which are now 23 years old. We also plan to increase technology available to our teachers and students. This week, our Board of Education will act on my recommendation to call for a bond election on April 2nd.
We have been working with the Long Range Planning Committee to identify the district’s greatest needs. That recommendation was presented to the Board of Education in November. The committee called for replacement of Cotteral Elementary and installation of secure entries for all of our school sites. Other items identified included renovations of restrooms at Fogarty Elementary and Guthrie High School as well as completion of the exterior restoration of Guthrie Junior High School. Technology will be a large part of this bond issue as well as other infrastructure items such as heat and air systems at the Junior High and Guthrie Upper Elementary School. The bond issue will be for $19.25 million and requires 60 percent approval of Guthrie Public Schools patrons.
The Board of Education established a target millage for our property owners of 17 mills. Our previous target during the successful election of 2015 was 15.7 mills. Due to faster than expected growth in our district, we have never reached that level. Our current millage from the 2015 bond issue is 14.12 mills. For comparison with some surrounding school districts, Edmond is at 24.96, Coyle 14.28, Deer Creek 36.56 and Crescent 39.03. What this means to our district patrons is a estimated monthly increase in property tax of $2.40 on a $100,000 home.
In 2015, our patrons showed their support for our school district with a very high turnout and a 77 percent approval of that bond issue. We have worked hard to earn your continued trust by being good stewards of the funds and keeping our promise of completing the projects we pledged to provide. More information will be coming soon about the upcoming election and the needs of our district. Please feel free to join us at Charter Oak Elementary this Sunday afternoon and see the latest source of pride for OUR community.