Today, voters in Shawnee will decide a $12,570,000 bond issue for Shawnee Public Schools in a special election.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the votes will be tallied shortly after the polls close.

According to Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent Dr. April Grace, money from the bond, if it is passed, 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 passed in 2016.

"Property owners should expect an increase of approximately $5 per month for every $1000 in property taxes," Grace said.

According to Grace, the 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.

Projects form 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.

Bond issues require a 60 percent supermajority vote for passage.

Check back for updates.