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Bethel schools to postpone $18 million bond election

Elisabeth Slay

After the Oklahoma Election Board declared an election emergency, Bethel Public Schools plans to reschedule its $18 million bond election originally scheduled for April 7.

According to Superintendent Tod Harrison, the Bethel Board of Education is planning to reschedule the election.

Harrison said if approved, the bond will be used to build several new facilities, including a new gym and a new upper elementary school building.

The new Upper Elementary project, Harrison said would allow students in third to fifth grades to have much needed classroom space as they are currently having classes in two metal buildings and a portable structure.

"The Upper Elementary project will provide much needed new classrooms. It will also eliminate the need for students, grades PK3, to go outside to attend PE, Art, Music and Computer classes when completed," Harrison said.

Harrison also explained the construction of the new gym would bring the current building up to code and provided a new performance facility and the facility will have better climate control to make students and others who use the facility more comfortable during performances and other activities.

Once the bond issue election is rescheduled. Harrison said the bond, if passed, would not increase property taxes because the millage rate has remained the same since the Bethel community approved the building of the Lower Elementary School 10 years ago.

"This vote is to maintain the current school millage rate previously approved for the last project. It will not raise taxes. We now look further down the road to hopefully continue the vision of maintaining safe, desirable and student worthy facilities that will last long into the future," Harrison said.

Once the Bethel Board of Education selects a new date for the bond election, the district will inform the public.

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