April 1st election is coming up for the City of Durant. If you don't live inside Durant please pass the word along as to how important it is for this issue to pass.
The issue is a New High School to be built on Gerlach. This will be a large project $41m to be exact. The land is already owned it will be the cost to build the school. Which if we keep waiting will be a whole lot more even waiting one more year as the price of steel and other manufacturing needs keep going up in cost.
This will involve a 5/8cent increase in what we currently pay on sales tax bringing the City of Durant's sales tax to 9.25% tax when places like Idabel are already at 9.5% so we are still doing well.
When we have businesses looking to bring a company into the area they look at the education that will be provided to their employees families. They go on tours of the schools and ask questions. Currenlty Durant is one of the Highest testing schools in OK. We have had many graduate with High honors.
We offer many programs for the kids. We try to make sure our kids get the best education. In building the new school for the High School they will be sending the Middle School kids to the High School The Middle school currently holds 2 grade levels and has out grown the Middle school. The High School holds 4 grades and is out growing or has out grown most of the school. They will be able to do what they need to to make the HS up to date for the Middle School Students to be able to use it with the 21 century technology. The Middle School was built in 1919 and they are not able to modify it enough to bring it up to the tech standards of today. The grade schools are able to incorporate more technology then the middle school. The middle school would become a good assest to the city. It is close to down town and the courthouse, library, etc. This would make a great place for many things including maybe a YMCA, Don't know what it will become but that is an idea.
The issue is not the whereabouts of where the school will be built...that has already been decided. The land at Gerlach was purchased in 2006. It has enough room for the school to be built with room also for extra curicular activities.
The land is also in a good central location for students. Not directly on the HWY as it would be if we were by the Sports Complex. Better roads for our teenagers to be on. Won't be as congested for Gerlach as 78. The growth of the city is going NW not E or SE. There as not been any new housing devolpements in that area and will not be as the land around has been bought for industrial use so it will probably get worse for them to drive in that area. Also the roads are 2 lane only and RR they would have to cross. It just would not be a good environment for the school the land they have is a good area and is the best situated.
Also the land offered by the sports complex is not enough due to : "According to Oklahoma State Department of Education guidelines as well as architectural recommendations, building sites for high schools should span 30 acres plus 1 additional acre per 100 students. Based on current enrollment, Durant High School would need a minimum of 42 acres to meet the guidelines for building space not including the consideration for future growth or outdoor practice fields and facilities. Of the 40+ acres available at the Multi-Sport Complex, approximately 10 acres have yet to be purchased. " This is not enough land and we would be spending more to buy or fix up the land for use and then the money to pay for the building of it which is the $41m so you are looking at even more money to build there.
I believe that if we build the better school that we will have the technology available to better educate our children, grandchildren, neices, nephews and friends. Just because you do not directly have family in the school system in Durant does not mean that you don't have church family who could use the better opportunities also what if one day you had family decide to move into the area. Don't you want the best education available? We as a community have to make this happen. We need to better the education so we can better our community. Building a better school will bring in more opportunities to the area. Our Property values will increase, as increases happen so will the money we are paid if there are jobs.
Please VOTE YES on April 1st.
If you want more info including information on the company that would be building school please go to www.durantisd.org
Please tell your family and friends in the Durant City Limit that this is a very important issue and they need to get out and vote...If you or them are not registered to vote in City issues then please go to your child's school and pick up and application or register there. You must be registered by March 7 in order to vote!
Again............................VOTE YES......................Your children need this opportunity for better education
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