Yukon school district to sell $7.4M in bonds to fund projects

The Yukon School Board, in a special meeting Monday, agreed to sell almost $7.5 million in bonds to help pay for improvements throughout the district.

The $7,430,000 in bonds are the second installment of a $44 million bond issue approved last September by voters.

The money is to be used to help start construction on a new intermediate school and complete several projects that Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth has described as “unsexy.”

Those include purchasing new furniture, providing new carpet throughout the district, repairing roofs and updating heating and air conditioning units.

The district also is purchasing new textbooks and improving technology throughout the district.

Some projects already have been completed, including the installation of a new track and new turf at the Yukon Middle School, and the purchase of several new buses.

Simeroth said the amount of bonds sold is a little lower than expected because the district’s valuation did not meet expectations.

Simeroth said the district had expected a $60 million to be added to the tax rolls, in part because of the installation of new equipment at Oklahoma Gas and Electric’s Mustang Power Plant.

Instead, the district saw an increase of about $50 million in valuation.

Simeroth said the valuation of that property is set at the state level, not by the county, and it is possible that not all of valuation has been added.

That  may mean the bonds, which were to be sold in four issues may require a fifth issue in 2021. That would be a small amount, about $2.5 million.

Simeroth said the projects will be completed on time, but the amount being sold each year has been adjusted.

“We’re still doing great, we just have to refigure it. The only thing it affects is the total school bond allocation that we set aside for next year. We will make it up over the next several years,” he said.

It also impacted the amount of money being set aside for the construction of Redstone Intermediate School.

Originally, $8.46 million was to be set aside this year. However, only about $3.8 million is being set aside.

That other funds will be made up in 2019, when $14 million will be set aside for that project.

The school, which will house fourth- through sixth-grade students, is scheduled to break ground in February with construction to be completed in time for the start of the 2020 school year.

In other action, the board accepted a bid from RSM Development to construct three classrooms at Surrey Hills Elementary School.

RSM, based in Edmond, offered a bid of $989,000 for the project, which is expected to take about nine months. Simeroth said the project should be completed before the start of the 2019-20 school year.

The bid was the lowest of 10 offered. The highest bid was $1,104,000.

Simeroth said the new classrooms will help meet the needs of the elementary school, which has seen substantial growth in recent years.

Several new residential neighborhoods are being built in that area.

Simeroth said there were 630 students at Surrey Hills on the first day of classes.

Last year, Surrey Hills added four classrooms because of growth.

In addition, the construction project includes improvements to staff parking and the bus zone.

Funds for those projects are coming the district’s building fund. Simeroth said the district began setting aside money for the work about a year ago.

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