Will OSD get $37M school bond? Oxford voters decide Sept. 19.
Published 11:10 am Monday, August 14, 2023
On Sept. 19, Oxford residents will have the chance to vote on a $37 million school bond aimed at capital improvements for the Oxford School District. The bond includes funding for a much-anticipated Pre-K program designed for 3 year olds.
The special election will occur at the Oxford Conference Center from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Lafayette County Circuit Clerk and election commissioners will oversee the election on behalf of the city of Oxford. Voters must have registered to vote 30 days before the election date. The deadline for those looking to vote absentee is September 16 at the Office of the Circuit Clerk.
During a public hearing in July, Supt. Bradley Roberson shared the district’s expansion and renovation needs. The district expects a yearly enrollment growth of 2.75 percent to 3.25 percent for the upcoming decade. In a move to address the shortage of classrooms, the district realigned its elementary schools back in 2021.
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“We’ve worked collaboratively for two years to create this plan,” Roberson said. “Our prudent financial decisions have let us hold off on a bond for as long as we did. Stakeholder feedback in our 2021 survey was invaluable. With this bond, the minor impact on taxpayers will fund facility upgrades we can all take pride in.”
Here are some of the projects the $37 million bond will fund:
Oxford Early Childhood Center (OECC, for 3-K and 4-K students)
- Replacement of cracked sidewalks.
- A new sewer pipe extending to Hwy 30.
- Updated drainage structure at the northern fence line.
- Separation of pre-K play area from CTE with a chain link fence.
- Enhanced playground facilities.
- Potential replacement of parent drop-off canopy and exterior metal wall panels.
- Creation of an outdoor classroom space outside the gym.
- Potential canopy addition linking the building to the gymnasium.
- Transformation of existing administrative offices into 11 classrooms tailored for a PreK-3 program.
- Consolidation of four classrooms into two expansive classroom spaces.
- PreK-specific restroom upgrades.
- Kitchen enhancements and cafeteria modifications for ADA compliance.
- Gymnasium renovation with added restroom, new flooring and stage curtain.
Oxford High School:
- A new facility with 8-10 classrooms.
- Career Technical Education classrooms.
- ROTC facilities and associated spaces.
- New turf drill field for OHS Band and ROTC.
- Potential additions include a guard building, parking expansions and moving the existing ROTC obstacle course.
Oxford Middle School Athletic Field:
- Installation of a turf soccer field.
- Two football practice fields.
- New bleachers and scoreboard.
- A new building addition featuring a weight room, team meeting space, restrooms, and utility closets.
- Existing parking lot modifications.
- Renovations to the current facility, including wall alterations to perfect space.
- An exterior multi-purpose basketball court near the playground.
Due to fiscal responsibility over the past five years, the district accumulated a surplus that funded several construction projects, including a forthcoming four-classroom addition at Della Davidson Elementary, set to start construction later this year. The Mississippi Department of Education’s annual report places the Oxford School District 14th lowest in the state for administrative costs.
The district adheres to stringent financial goals, namely:
- A fund balance ratio of over 25 percent.
- A debt capacity ratio under 15 percent.
Should the bond get approval, property taxes will see an uptick, calculated on the property’s assessed value, not its market value.
For details on property tax values, residents can visit the Circuit Clerk’s site at oxfordms.net.