Superintendent provides 93-cent/month scenario as least likely bond issue tax increase
Mustang councilmembers heard about the school district’s $180.8 million bond proposal during their council meeting Tuesday.
Superintendent Sean McDaniel explained the bond proposal was created after more than two years of long-range planning and will carry the growing district forward for the next several years.
Taxes are to remain the same or slightly increase from where they are currently, the superintendent told the council, but will not go above the school board’s committed 28-mill level.
Currently, the school district’s millage rate is sitting at 26.98.
“We believe there will be little to no effect at all on taxes,” McDaniel told the council. He said for a homeowner with a $100,000 valued property/residence, the worse-case scenario increase would be 93 cents additional per month.
The day after the meeting, McDaniel explained the “Net Assessed Valuation, or the total property value growth projections in our district combined with the bonds we are paying off allows us to project what our taxation could be moving forward.”
He noted these are projections “based on historical data.”
The district is currently paying on three bonds, McDaniel said. Last year, MPS paid off in full the 2009 bonds. This totaled $57.96 million which mostly went to a major high school renovation.
In 2023, McDaniel said the district will pay off the 2012, 2014 and 2016 bonds. Then if the 2017 bond proposal passes, the 12-year issue will be paid off in 2029.
The 2012 bond totaled $93.1 million and included building two new schools: Canyon Ridge and Prairie View Elementary, and the new MHS Events Center as the major projects.
Voters approved a $7 million bond in 2014 that provided big items like a new JROTC facility, vo-ag barn and storm shelters.
Finally, in 2016, the district proposed $4.5 million for new textbooks, buses, and HVACs.
If the new bond proposal is approved, McDaniel said the new elementary and intermediate schools would come online the 2018-2019 school year. Then the district’s third middle school would open the following year, he added.
All three new schools are needed, he explained, because school sites are at 90 percent capacity and still growing.
At the high school, the school board has committed to just one campus instead of two. He said to add capacity there, the 2017 bond proposes a science academy to “pull 200 kids an hour everyday” from the main campus to there.
McDaniel said a new auditorium on the high school campus, another 2017 proposed project, could lead to a partnership with the city for concerts, national speakers and trade shows. The target for seating in the facility is 1,600.
Kevin Riley, Ward 1 council member, jokingly asked McDaniel about graduation and how long the ceremony might last by the time his child graduates in 2020. The school official said Lloyd Noble Center in Norman has worked well with the district for graduation. He commented this year, the final section of Lloyd Noble will be opened this year at graduation due to the continually growing attendance.
The 2016 graduating class included 673 students, McDaniel said.
The superintendent has other scheduled talks including: Trails Elementary at 6 p.m. today, the high school media center at 3:45 p.m. Jan. 24, Prairie View Elementary at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 and Valley Elementary at 6 p.m. Jan. 26.
To find out more about the bond issue, visit www.mustangps.org.