THE ISSUE: Voters in the Dale Public School District will decide on a $10 million bond issue in the Feb. 14 special election.

LOCAL IMPACT: With the passing of the bond issue, residents of the Dale School District's property taxes will go up, but the district will receive a new high school and gymnasium.

THE ISSUE: Voters in the Dale Public School District will decide on a $10 million bond issue in the Feb. 14 special election.

LOCAL IMPACT: With the passing of the bond issue, residents of the Dale School District's property taxes will go up, but the district will receive a new high school and gymnasium.

On Feb. 14 voters in the Dale School District will decide on a $10 million bond issue that will allow the district to construct a new high school and gymnasium.

If passed, the bond issue would cause an increase of $1.65 for every $100 paid in property taxes annually.

“Our high school building was built in the early 1930s,” Dale Superintendent Charlie Dickinson said. “It is a very old brick and plaster wall building and is extremely outdated. The cost of maintenance is very high year-to-year. It was a good building in its time but it needs to be replaced.”

The Dale Pirates have are playing basketball in a gym that is outdated and it's time to give the students a new facility to play in, Dickinson said.

The new gymnasium will double the amount of seating to an estimated 1,200, triple the amount of restrooms available and add air-conditioning to the facility, Dickinson said.

“Our gymnasium was built in 1983. It was a good building when it was built, but we've significantly outgrown it. When we play our rivals, the crowds overwhelm the gym. It's time Dale Public Schools have something new. This is all about our kids.”

The new high school building will consist of 20 classrooms, seven more than the current high school. Added features would also include a science lab, computer lab and added security features, Dickinson said.

If passed, the new high school would be built in front of the current building and the old one would eventually be demolished, Dickinson said.

If the bond is passed, this would be the first tax increase in over 40 years, Dickinson said.

School bonds must pass by a 60 percent supermajority.

Voters in Pottawatomie County who want to have absentee ballots mailed to them for the February 14th Annual School, Dale I-2 School Bond, should apply now, County Election Board Secretary Jeannie Stover said.

The County Election Board can accept applications for absentee ballots until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8th, Stover said. For voters who want to vote by absentee ballot to apply early.

Absentee ballot application forms are available at the County Election Board office located at 14101 Acme Rd., Shawnee, OK 74804. The absentee ballot application forms also can be downloaded and printed at: www.elections.ok.gov.

Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot in any election in which he/she is eligible to vote, Stover said. A voter must be registered and reside at an address within the geographical boundaries of a school district or a municipality to be eligible to vote in school district or municipal elections.

You can reach Adam at (405) 214-3940.