Silo School Bond Goes Before Voters Again - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Silo School Bond Goes Before Voters Again

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SILO, OK -- School officials say the district is in desperate need of space, and now they are holding a bond election for the fourth time in the past year, hoping to get a 60 percent majority from voters.

After three tries to pass a school bond failed last year, Silo Public Schools is sending the issue to voters a fourth time on Tuesday.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Caruthers says the district is growing, and even after the prior bonds failed, they still had to build a new building as a temporary solution, but they want something more permanent.

"We simply don't have any more interior space available to renovate into classrooms. We have grown to the point where a bond is the only avenue that we have," says Caruthers.

Caruthers says the growth that has brought enrollment up to 843 students, would make an 8-percent property tax jump sting less for each homeowner. "Due to the growth of our tax base, it's actually decreased by well over 20-percent in the past year," says Caruthers.

"My classroom was probably built for a kindergarten classroom for approximately 15 students, and I have over 25 fourth graders in that room, so it's just too small," says teacher Kelly Palmer.

Caruthers says when the last bond failed, they still needed more space for their students, so they built a $130,000 "portable building" this summer, but he says that is just not enough to meet their future needs.

"It was very crowded in high school, middle school and high school kids are mixed together using the same classrooms," says Silo High School graduate Henry Allen.

"The first year I taught at Silo, I was in a room that had been converted from a whole room into half of a room," says Palmer.

Caruthers says the $2.3 million would allow them to build 16 new classrooms and move four grades outside the main building, and update the front entrance.

"Doors like this, which is glass on each side of the door, that's not safe," says resident Edna Pierce.

In February, April, and August, the Silo bond got 56 percent yes votes, but it would need 60 percent to pass. "They haven't really given what I believe is a significant description as to why we should go with the bond, it's kind of vague," says resident Bryan Perkins.

The district has not done any major building in about 30 years. The election is Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at regular Silo precincts. Early voting is available at the Bryan County Election Board in Durant.