On Tuesday, May 14, voters in the Shawnee Public Schools District will decide a $12,570,000 bond issue in a special election.

According to SPS Superintendent Dr. April Grace, money from the bond, if passed by a 60 percent supermajority, will go toward new buses, transportation, HVAC repair, new technology, equipment, parking lot improvements, signage, security enhancement, new uniforms and equipment for student activities and updated technology at the Performing Arts and Athletic Center (PAAC).

If passed, the 2019 bond will add an additional year to the bond issue that was passed in 2016.

"Property owners should expect an increase of approximately $5 per month for every $1,000 in property taxes," Grace said.

According to Grace, the proposed bond addresses immediate and long-term needs of schools and continues momentum of the facilities improvement plan.

Grace explained the completed projects from the 2016 bond issue include the addition of safe rooms and security entrances to Horace Mann Elementary, Sequoyah Elementary and Shawnee Middle School. Also remodeled science classrooms, special needs classrooms and parking lot improvements to the Shawnee High School and Will Rogers Elementary.

Current projects from the 2016 bond that are expected to be completed in 2019-2020 include safe rooms, a security vestibule and parking area to Jefferson Elementary, a security entrance to Will Rogers and the Shawnee High School Stucker facility.

Other projects from the 2016 bond issue, which are scheduled to go out for bid, include several improvements to the high school.

They are as follows: security vestibules, counseling area, band and music rooms, library media center, cafeteria and dining areas, tennis facility upgrade, baseball ticket booth, concession area, restrooms and softball dugout.

The new elementary site construction is expected to begin in 2020 and Grace said the earliest the school would open is the 2021-2022 school year.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Anyone needing to verify their voter registration information, or view a sample ballot can do so online. The Online Voter Tool can be accessed on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website: www.elections.ok.gov. Those who vote by mail can also check the status of their ballot using the Online Voter Tool. Sample ballots are also available at the Pottawatomie County Election Board office.