Durant votes on new elementary school, more - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Durant votes on new elementary school, more

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Durant ISD is asking voters to approve a $38.6 million bond proposal. (Durant ISD) Durant ISD is asking voters to approve a $38.6 million bond proposal. (Durant ISD)

DURANT, Okla. -- Durant voters are deciding decide the fate of a school bond issue.

The $48.6 million proposal includes two propositions: $38.6 million to build a new elementary school serving kindergarten through fourth grade, with the balance to fund transportation needs, security, maintenance, technology, athletics, fine arts, and extracurricular programs.

The proposed new building would be located just east of the high school.

Durant Independent School District Superintendent Duane Merideth said expansion is needed because of the burgeoning student population.

"We've been watching this for a number of years, about 12 years," he said. "That's when we started putting together a strategic long-term plan. As we develop that, because we knew the growth was coming, we knew we were going to outgrow our facilities we currently have."

Former Durant teacher and parent Natalie Blackburn said she'll be voting "yes."

"They always plan ahead and look ahead and try to solve a problem before it even becomes a problem," she said. "Durant is in a unique growth period, and so therefore we must adapt to that as schools. If we want to a great job with educating our students, then we are going to have to accommodate that as well."

If voters approve the bond issue, property taxes will increase 5 percent starting in December 2020. That will add $50 to every $1,000 tax bill.

"This one new elementary will solve our overcrowding issues for many many years to come," Merideth said.

Early voting started Thursday and continues on Friday. Election Day is next Tuesday, September 10.

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