A bond proposal being proposed for Mangum Public Schools would allow districtwide improvements ranging from a new football fieldhouse to new desks for elementary students.
The $925,000, 10-year bond proposal that will be on the ballot for the Mangum School District in Greer and Harmon counties can be done without increasing taxes for property owners, said Superintendent Travis Reese.
Reese said funding will be directed to five broad areas, to include a proposal to buy enough Chromebooks for every student in grades six through 12. He said the idea is assigning every student in those grades his/her own personal digital device, allowing them to keep it for the school year to use for classwork.
“It’s their’s to use, while they are a student in Mangum,” he said, of the digital program.
A district-wide project would focus on heating and air conditioning units, replacing equipment that is failing or no longer serviceable with high efficiency, reliable units.
“We have six within buildings that need to be replaced,” Reese said of equipment that is in constant need of repair (heaters had to be brought in for the district’s youngest students during the recent cold snap because of problems, he noted).
District officials also want to buy new band equipment for a program that is growing and thriving.
“Our band when to state last year, with some instruments that are not in the best shape,” Reese said, explaining many instruments being used today are bent or in need of repair. “And, we have growing numbers, so we don’t have enough instruments to provide to everyone.”
Funding also will allow the district to focus on a football field house, building a locker room for junior high and high school team members. Those athletes now must change in the basement of the district’s gym, a facility built in 1929, Reese said, of a football program that, like the band program, is growing.
The district also wants to address elementary school desks, replacing them with new models. Reese said a recent walk-through of some of his elementary classrooms revealed desks with missing baskets, bent legs and cracked seats that can pinch the occupant if they don’t sit carefully.
Reese said the bond program presents a nice mix of projects, with something for everyone.
“Everybody familiar with our schools knows these are all needs. There’s really not a want in there,” he said. “Students are really excited about it. Voters agree with the students that these are all things that will have a major impact.”
Approval Tuesday will allow the district to begin work immediately, Reese said, predicting every project but the fieldhouse can be ready when the 2024-2025 school year begins in August. He said the estimated completion time for the fieldhouse is the 2025 football season.