The Pryor Times

Opinion

September 10, 2013

The future is now for Chouteau

On Oct. 8, the good folks in the Chouteau-Mazie area will head to the polls to vote on a proposed $8.9 million bond issue that will improve the school system. The bond would build a new high school, renovate the old gym, build a new agriculture building, expand and renovate Mazie School and address roof repair around in the district, as needed.

Now obviously, property taxes would go up. But for the school district, it is a small price to pay.

The current high school is in need of a lot of work and needs some security issues addressed. A new school would do that for Chouteau. Overcrowding is an issue at all the schools and building one new high school could eliminate this issue.

By building a new high school, the current middle school would move into the old (or current) high school. Then, the elementary school would expand and take over the middle school (the middle and elementary school are in the same building). The Early Childhood Development Center (K4 –second grade) is busting at the seams, so the plan is to move the second grade into the elementary school, which would have the room since the middle school will have been moved to the high school.

If you look at school facilities, Chouteau would be near the bottom compared to the other schools in the county. The other towns have voted yes on bonds and you are seeing those results; new school buildings, new facilities, etc.

If the bond were to pass in October, a new high school will be built and ready to move in within two years.

For Chouteau, the future is now. People need to go out and votes “yes” on this bond, to help get Chouteau on the road to greatness. Great things are happening in Chouteau schools. Enrollment is up by nearly 70 kids in the high school, compared to last year. Transfers in to Chouteau schools, finally outweighs the students who are transferring out of Chouteau schools.

School officials say there will be a couple of community forums to talk about the school bond, prior to the election. Also, a social media campaign is underway, that will show design plans, a video of artists renderings and a lot more.

It’s not a “now or never” type of bond vote, but it is a “sooner the better” type. The sooner we can vote “yes” on this school bond issue, the better off the kids of Chouteau will benefit from it.

The future is now for Chouteau and a “yes” vote on Oct. 8 would open the door to so many possibilities for the kids of Chouteau.

 

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