OISD puts $8m bond issue on ballot

OISD puts $8m bond issue on ballot

Public meetings April 11 at OHS, Hudson’s on Main

Olney’s school board on May 4 will ask local voters to approve an $8.3 million bond issue to build campus storm shelters that will double as classrooms and to augment existing shelters, OISD Board of Trustees President Summer Branum said.

The plan adopted by the school board would not raise property taxes but would obligate the school district for 22 years to the current rate of 19 cents per $100 valuation, assuming current interest rates of about 4 percent, according to Nick Bulaich of Hilltop Securities, who is advising the school district. The district recently paid off bonds early to make room in its budget for the proposed storm shelter bonds, Mrs. Branum said. If approved, the shelters could be ready as quickly as two years from now, she added.

In addition to keeping students safe, the shelters incor-porate “multipurpose uses that we were already going to need in the future, to kill two birds with one stone,” Mrs. Branum said. “The worst thing you could ask for money for is to put an empty box on the side of a building.”

School officials are proposing a plan to use general obligation bonds to build a storm shelter and intermediate wing with seven new classrooms with intervention and special education resources included at the junior high school, as well as a secure corridor between the band hall and the Career and Technology Education Center [CTE].

The bond also includes funding for a dedicated self-contained classroom that will address state requirements for enrichment and intervention for special education students.

The plan also makes recommended security renovations to the elementary school and a corridor between the daycare center and an existing storm shelter, she said.

Mrs. Branum said destructive tornadoes in Jacksboro in 2022 and in Perryton last summer that destroyed school buildings, as well as recommendations by the Deffenbaugh security assessment, led the board to consider whether the Olney campus was prepared for such a storm.

Olney ISD will hold a public meeting to provide information about the bond issue on Thursday, April 11 at 10 a.m. in the Olney High School Auditorium.

The Protect Our Cubs political action committee will meet at Hudson’s on Main on April 11at 6 p.m. to discuss the bond measure and strategies for getting out the vote to support it, PAC treasurer Jason Pack, said.

The public is invited to both events.

For more information about about the PAC, go to www.protectourcubsolney. com.