Voters approve $99.6 million investment in Lawton schools
Lawton voters handily passed Lawton Public Schools' $99.6 million Student Investment Program bond in Tuesday's election, according to the unofficial results of the Comanche Country Election Board.
The bond proposal passed with 73.68 percent of the vote 5,347 "yes" votes to 1,910 "no" votes.
All 30 precincts had reported in by press time. According to Oklahoma law, school proposition's required a super-majority of 60 percent of the vote.
Superintendent appreciative of citizens
"On behalf of the Board of Education, our staff and our students, I wish to thank the Lawton-Fort Sill community for your support of this very important Student Investment Program. We are humbled at the results and endeavor to work even harder to merit your continued trust and support. Thank you for proving that Lawton Can," said LPS Superintendent Tom Deighan in a written statement Tuesday evening.
Once the Lawton Board of Education approved the resolution on Sept. 11 to put the bond proposal in front of the voters, Deighan and staff members at each site launched an all-out effort to explain to parents, community members, business and organization members why the bond was needed to invest in the students at the level other districts nearby have done so for years.
Leading up to the board's approval was almost two years of community research because the six resolutions in the bond proposal were based on the feedback from the community parents, business and organization members, teachers and district staff of what the district's students needed to help them gain productive futures. The bond was called the Student Investment Program or SIP because every resolution in the bond underscored what the district needed to invest in the students.
The six bond resolutions:
The six individual resolutions and the amount of funding for each are:
• Safe rooms/storm shelters for a minimum of eight elementary schools currently without any type of shelter, $14.5 million;
• Student and instructional technology and upgrades to allow students to have access to the extensive educational resources now online, allow more flexibility and access for educators and to prepare students for their futures, $7.5 million.
• Specific resources and equipment for school libraries that have not been funded since 2009; as well as elective and non-core programs including music, the arts and agriculture education; and to replace student and teacher decrepit furniture that are no longer adequate, $12.4 million;
• Specific site improvements including HVAC in MacArthur High and Douglass Learning Center auditoriums, light and sound auditoriums upgrades, resurfacing of high school tracks and repair of Ron Stephens Stadium wall, and replacing and/or repairing child nutrition equipment, $3.2 million;
• Construction and furnishing of a new Eisenhower Middle School with safe rooms and demolishing of the old building, $46 million; and,
• Acquiring and improving school sites, facilities upkeep, repairs, maintenance and equipment and to cover the rising costs of construction projects due to recent natural disasters, $15.8 million.