Warner passes bond issue

Cathy Spaulding, Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.
·2 min read

Mar. 3—Warner Public Schools' bond issue for two new buildings passed by a hair Tuesday night.

Unofficial results by the Oklahoma Election Board show 100 voters, or 60.98 percent favoring the $750,000 bond issue and 64 voters, 39.02 percent, opposing. School bonds need 60 percent approval to pass.

The bond issue funds a new high school building with a cheerleading room and a multipurpose room, plus a new elementary school building with a band room and elementary physical education room.

Warner Superintendent David Vinson said he knew the proposal would be a tough vote "because the facilities we're adding are for extracurricular programs."

"They're going to be very well used by all of our pre-K through 12th grade students — cheer, band, PE, athletics," Vinson said. "I do think that once the facilities are built and are in use by kids on a daily basis, it can be something everybody can get excited about."

Warner's bond issue would result in an initial 6.4 percent increase in property taxes, Vinson said. He said that would translate into an increase of $64.60 for every $1,000 in property taxes.

Two 2017 four-year bond issues, totaling $450,000, are ending, he said.

Vinson said the school gets "great support from the community."

"I'm not surprised to see the support we had in passing the bond," he said. "These are tough times with COVID-19 going on, so it would make bonds harder to pass right now."

Vinson had said more space is needed to accommodate school enrollment, which has grown 17 percent, from 690 in 2013 to 810 in 2021.

He said the next steps would be having the architect finish the plans, getting the project out for bid and setting a date for the bond sale.

Vinson said he expects contractors to begin heavy construction this summer and the facilities to be ready by second semester of the 2021-22 school year.

At Lowrey School in northern Cherokee County, votersapproved a proposed $200,000 bond issue 35 to 15, or 70 percent, yes, to 30 percent, no, according to unofficial results. Promoters said the money would be used to buy two new buses.