Progress Reports

Updates on the bond issue projects at Bartlesville Public SchoolsFacebook YouTube  

    Recent Progress Reports

    • Construction Update, 6/19/2017 During the June 19, 2017 meeting of the Bartlesville Board of Education, Keleher Architects shared an update on the construction projects funded by the 2016 bond issue. The new softball ...
      Posted Jun 20, 2017, 2:18 AM by Granger Meador
    • Bond projects update at the start of summer 2017 BUSES ARRIVE All 15 new route buses and one of two new activity buses have arrived. An additional activity bus and two people-movers, all with Bruins graphics, will arrive ...
      Posted Jun 19, 2017, 9:04 AM by Granger Meador
    • April 2017 bond projects progress report Here are some updates for the end of April 2017 on various construction projects funded by the August 2016 bond issue: Tennis Courts work will continue in May  Construction work ...
      Posted Apr 29, 2017, 12:43 PM by Granger Meador
    • First day on the new tennis courts Head tennis coach Jeff Birk had some great news on Wednesday, April 19, 2017: the six new courts at the high school were ready for play.So that afternoon the ...
      Posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:54 PM by Granger Meador
    • First new route buses put into service In August 2016, 73% of participating district voters approved the $1.95 million transportation bond issue. The main selling point for that bond issue was to update the district's ...
      Posted Apr 18, 2017, 3:41 PM by Granger Meador
    Showing posts 1 - 5 of 17. View more »
    QUESTIONS? 

    First, please check our Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you can't find the answers you need, please ask in an email to questions@bruinbond.com.

    2016 BOND ISSUE SUMMARY
    Voters approved $19.4 million over a five year period for multiple purposes:

    Saving Jobs & Preserving Class Sizes

    The primary focus of the bond issue is to compensate for huge cuts in state funding since 2009. The district suffered multiple state revenue shortfalls in 2016 and cut 5% of its teachers as well additional administrators and support staff.

    The bond will allow the district to shift more operational costs from its general fund to bond issue funds to hopefully prevent additional staffing cuts and increases in class sizes in 2017. The bond expands on operational funding already being provided via a 2012 bond issue and extends that expanded support for two additional years. It is projected that 15 or more teaching positions can be preserved from future cuts by shifting operational costs to bond funds.

    Improving Instructional Technology, Equipment, and Facilities

    The bond will provide students with the instructional technology other districts now offer but which our students lack. Since the state has now cut all textbook funding, the bond will provide both physical and digital textbooks. The bond will support and expand new STEM programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It will also maintain buildings and update classrooms and their furnishings that are up to 99 years old.

    Targeted High-Priority Renovations

    The bond will also provide improvements in existing facilities previously identified as top priorities by community members on the district's Long Range Facilities Planning Committee, but which bond capacity limits prevented us from addressing in the 2013 reconfiguration bond issue.

    Construction Update, 6/19/2017

    posted Jun 20, 2017, 2:14 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jun 20, 2017, 2:18 AM ]

    During the June 19, 2017 meeting of the Bartlesville Board of Education, Keleher Architects shared an update on the construction projects funded by the 2016 bond issue.


    Softball locker room
    The new softball locker room, the only new square footage in the 2016 bond issue, should be complete in July 2017.

    Bond projects update at the start of summer 2017

    posted Jun 8, 2017, 1:45 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jun 19, 2017, 9:04 AM ]

    BUSES ARRIVE

    All 15 new route buses and one of two new activity buses have arrived. An additional activity bus and two people-movers, all with Bruins graphics, will arrive later.

    Activity Bus
    Both new activity buses and two additional people-movers will feature extensive Bruins graphics

    Activity Bus interior
    The activity buses feature large, comfortable charter-bus style seats, storage racks, individualized lighting, individualized air conditioning vents, and USB ports for the passengers to use for electronic devices. This will be a boon to students on long trips to and from away games.

    The second activity bus is scheduled to arrive before the end of June. The two people-mover mini-buses are out of the factory and are now receiving interior updates. The should arrive by the end of June.

    With most of the new buses in place, the district will be holding an auction on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 10 a.m. at Madison Middle School for 15 old but driveable route buses, 3 non-driveable buses, a couple of other vehicles, and the old graduation stage.

    PROGRESS ON ATHLETICS FACILITIES

    Tennis courts usable by team and nearly complete

    The tennis courts were put into use by the team before the end of the school year, after the contractor conformed the fencing and surface markings to the plans. The windscreens are up and the lighting should become operational in the second week of June.

    Tennis Courts
    The tennis courts are complete except for some lighting work

    Indoor practice facility renovations come to a close

    The Bruin Activity Center renovations, which segmented the final bay of the existing facility into an weight room for the athletics program and a practice space for the cheerleaders, have come to a close. In the shots below, the only missing elements are some graphics.

    These two spaces now include full climate control, an improvement over the spaces they used to occupy in the 1968 additions to the 1939 Phillips Field House. The larger 1968 auxiliary gym can now be dedicated to the school's physical education classes, while the smaller gym, which for many years was a weight room, will soon be renovated into a practice space for the pom program.

    Cheerleading space in BAC
    Half of the final bay of the Bruin Activity Center, the indoor practice facility located south of 18th Street at the high school, is now a great space for the cheerleading program; the program will also have offices and locker space in the Phillips Field House once its renovations are completed

    Athletics Weight Room in BAC
    The other half of the final bay of the Bruin Activity Center is now an athletics weight room; the physical education weight room remains in the Phillips Field House

    BAC renovations
    Another view of the athletics room, showing the wall separating that bay from the rest of the indoor practice facility; HVAC units were added to serve both the cheerleading and athletics weight room spaces


    Softball locker room construction continues

    The heavy spring rains slowed its progress, but construction continues on the new locker room and dugouts at the softball field located at Madison Middle School. The locker room walls have been built, the dugouts are framed, and trusses are on site and should be installed soon.

    Softball locker room
    The walls are built for the new softball locker room

    Softball dugouts
    The dugout walls are completed at the softball field


    Doenges Stadium making good progress

    The locker room renovation at Doenges Stadium has been completed. The carpet in the press box has been installed and minor repairs to the walls are being done. The guest press box floor has been repaired.

    Doenges locker room
    The locker room renovations at Doenges Stadium are complete

    Doenges Stadium carpet
    Carpeting and general refreshes at Doenges Stadium

    Doenges Stadium pressbox
    The pressbox at the stadium has been improved

    NEW PROJECTS UNDERWAY AT FIVE SITES

    Music Program Improvements

    The recent bond issue projects at the secondary schools will reallocate and renovate over 7,000 square feet of existing space for the district's music programs.
    The start of summer break means five additional projects are now underway across the district.

    Extracurricular programs which have had inadequate spaces for years are benefiting from the construction and renovation projects.

    Phillips Field House & FAC renovations begin

    At Bartlesville High School, demolition has begun on areas of the 1939 Phillips Field House and one room in the 2004 Fine Arts Center to provide additional space for the music programs. Those programs increased in size at the high school with the addition of grades 9 and 10 to the campus in 2015-2016.

    The former FLEX computer lab in the Fine Arts Center will be renovated into an additional ensemble space for choir, while a ramp connection will be made in the existing band room into the adjoining 1939 Phillips Field House. The old auto shop in the field house later was a journalism lab and in recent years was used by the pom program. That area and an adjoining former classroom are being renovated into an additional instrumental music room and musical instrument and uniform storage.

    The Phillips Field House was already helping out the music programs. The 2013 bond issue for the reconfiguration to grades 9-12 at Bartlesville High School funded a renovation of the former training room on the lowest level of the southeast corner of the field house into a percussion room with a ramp leading up in the main ensemble room in the adjoining Fine Arts Center.

    Phillips Field House & FAC Renovations
    Both the music and athletics programs will benefit from renovations of the 1939 Phillips Field House and its 1968 addition and the addition of a ramp in the band room and renovation of one room in the 2004 Fine Arts Center

    Much of the remainder of the 1939 Phillips Field House and its 1968 addition will also be renovated to benefit a variety of athletics programs. The pom program will gain a locker room from a former classroom. The smaller auxiliary gym, which for years has been a weight room, will become a much-improved pom practice space.

    Various offices and locker rooms between the main gym and the north auxiliary gym will be renovated to improve the weight room area and locker rooms for physical education and provide improved locker room and other spaces for the cheerleading and wrestling programs. The wrestling practice room will be renovated and expanded.

    Madison renovations begin

    The renovations at Madison Middle School have also begun. They will bring improvements for transportation, climate control, the auditorium, and the music programs.

    Bus Loop

    A loop around the building will be constructed to separate buses from personal vehicles, improving traffic and safety before and after school. Buses will then be able to pick up and drop off at the commons area on the north side of the school, while parent pick-up and drop-off will remain in the loop drive off Baylor.

    Madison Loop Drive

    Dedicated Band, Choir, and Orchestra Rooms
    The former Sooner High/Mid-High facility has never had separate rooms for band and orchestra, so the auditorium stage was in daily use for practice, impeding its other uses. The building of the softball locker room, which is the only new square footage in the entire 2016 bond issue, will free up space in the main building so that locker rooms just north of the auditorium can be reconfigured.

    The choir program will be moving to space in the reconfigured area, allowing the orchestra program to use the former choir room. The locker room area reconfiguration will also provide an additional breakout room and storage for the music programs, while still providing appropriate locker rooms for girls and boys taking physical education classes.

    Auditorium Improvements

    The auditorium seats will be replaced with ones like those in the Fine Arts Center at the high school. The finishes and systems in the stage area and auditorium will be refreshed where needed.

    HVAC Upgrade

    The original steam heating system, which has been serving portions of the site since it was constructed in the late 1960s, will finally be replaced with a modern and energy efficient system with on-demand heating and cooling.

    Central auditorium update

    The auditorium was the only part of Central Middle School that was not renovated in the 2013 bond issue. Now the seats on its main level will be replaced with ones like those at the high school Fine Arts Center, while the historic seats will remain in the balcony. Plaster rot will be addressed, worn carpet replaced, and there will be a safety update for the balcony rail and updates to the audiovisual system.

    Jane Phillips & Hoover finish refreshes

    Previous bond issues renovated the corridors of the other four district elementary schools, but Hoover and Jane Phillips had not been refreshed. Paint and carpet and other finish refreshes will bring those sites up to par. Some exterior panel issues at both sites and a parking lot issue at Jane Phillips will also be addressed.

    OTHER PROJECTS

    Furniture

    Priority furnishings needed for Bartlesville High School, Central Middle School, Madison Middle School, and Richard Kane Elementary School should arrive in July.

    Carpet

    Carpet
    Worn carpet at many sites will be replaced. Shown here is a classroom at Richard Kane Elementary School with its new carpet.

    Elementary playgrounds
    Bids were received in early June to replace the pea gravel at all of the elementary playgrounds with a safer modern material, and the deteriorated edge timbers will be replaced. 

    Custer Stadium locker rooms

    Bids will be received in mid-June on the last major renovation project in the 2016 bond issue. The lowest level of Custer Stadium will be renovated to finally provide locker rooms for track, cross country, and tennis as well as space for girls soccer.

    Custer Stadium locker rooms

    Hoover/Madison driveway

    Bids will be received in mid-June to build a loop drive around Hoover Elementary to improve traffic and pedestrian safety.

    CHROMEBOOKS FOR FRESHMEN

    Help for Parents

    Parents and students can get online help with the district's new Chromebooks at BPSCHROMEBOOK.COM.

    They can also get online help with the Canvas Learning Management System at BPSCANVAS.COM. Canvas will be available for students and teachers to use in grades 6-12 in 2017-2018.

    Online help is also available for the district's G Suite for Education.
    The 2016 bond issue also provided funding for a variety of technology improvements, focused on a Student Computing Initiative to phase in devices students can use at school and at home.

    In August 2017 all freshmen at Bartlesville High School will receive a new Chromebook. These cloud-based computers are inexpensive but powerful ways to modernize instruction. 

    Dell 3180 Chromebook
    A parent or guardian must be present with each freshman student to check out the Chromebook. The first check-out will be after the Bruin Camp on Friday, August 4, with the remainder to be checked out on Thursday, August 10. 
    On 8/10, Chromebooks will be distributed as part of schedule pick-up from 8:30-11 a.m. and from 12:30-3 p.m., with an evening Chromebook checkout from 5-7:30 p.m. 

    In August the district plans to provide parents the opportunity to purchase Chromebook insurance online with a credit card. There will also be credit card, check, and cash insurance sales on the August 4 and August 10 pick-up days. The $30 insurance plan fully covers the first incident a student might have with accidental damage to a Chromebook, and covers half the cost of a second incident.

    A new Student Technology Support Team class at the high school will handle Chromebook repairs and usage issues as well as assist staff with various technology needs. 

    Canvas across grades 6-12 in 2017-2018

    More teachers will be using the Canvas Learning Management System to provide class calendars and assignments to students. All freshmen will begin submitting some digital assignments in their classes for teachers to grade online. Teachers can also use the district's G Suite for Education applications to allow students to complete some assignments while offline, uploading them when they return to campus.


    Chromebooks and iPads rolling out in future years

    In 2018-2019, all students in grades 9-12 will have Chromebooks for use at school and at home. In 2019-2020, Chromebooks will be provided for all students in grades 6-12, while additional Chromebook and iPad carts will be provided for students in the elementary schools in later years. (The iPad carts for each elementary school's new STEM Launch modules are being funded by community donations, not bond funds, which must be allocated to secondary Chromebook deployment for several years.)

    Timeline

    These devices will allow the district to gradually reduce its operating expenses for paper and physical textbooks, although some use of both will be retained. They will also allow the district to eventually phase out non-dedicated computer labs in the secondary schools.

    Whew! That's a lot to report on, with much more to come in the future. THANK YOU Bartlesville, for making this possible in this era of inadequate state funding for our public schools.

    April 2017 bond projects progress report

    posted Apr 29, 2017, 9:09 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 29, 2017, 12:43 PM ]

    Here are some updates for the end of April 2017 on various construction projects funded by the August 2016 bond issue:

    Tennis Courts work will continue in May 

    Construction work on the new tennis courts at BHS will continue for awhile longer. In addition to finalizing the areas around the courts and laying sod, inspection of the fencing and court placement revealed some court and fence placements did not conform to the plans.
      
    So on May 1 the new courts will be closed so that corrections can be made. The cost of shifting the fencing and net poles and providing two new coats of court colors  to match the placements in the specifications will be borne by the contractor.

    The district has been impressed by the quality of the materials and surfaces provided by the contractor. Superintendent McCauley said, "The contractor has been great to work with, and we are confident these fixes will provide us with superb courts for our tennis teams that match precisely with the bid specifications."

    This project is still coming in overall less than the original purchase order.

    Tennis courts plan

    Some work will be done in May to conform the new tennis courts to the plans.

    Tennis courts in April

    Bruin Activity Center remodel is almost complete

    The new athletics weight room and cheer room in the indoor practice facility should receive occupancy clearance soon, after cleaning and clearing final punch list items.

    Doenges Stadium renovations are 90% complete

    New lighting and flooring have been installed. Now waiting on the delivery of lockers to complete the work. They are scheduled to arrive the second week of May

    Softball field work slowed by rains

    The work at the softball field west of Madison Middle School has been greatly slowed by spring rains. But new dugouts and locker room slabs have been poured and concrete block work is starting first on the dugouts and then on the locker room.

    More buses arrive

    Transportation Manager Orville Burks reported that four more new route buses arrived on Friday, 4/28. 

    Bids status update

    Bids have been received on the renovations for Madison Middle School and the auditorium seating projects at Madison and Central middle schools. The architects are working on contractor schedules.

    Several bids come in the first week of May:
    • Hoover Elementary School and Central Middle School renovations
    • Jane Phillips Elementary School renovation
    • Boiler replacements for Bartlesville High School and Ranch Heights Elementary School
    The architectural drawings for the driveways at Madison Middle School and Hoover Elementary School and for the remodel of the bottom level of Custer Stadium are 90% complete and should be completed in early May.


    General fund relief partially offsets continued state revenue failures

    Outside of the various construction projects, the prime motivation for the August 2016 bond issue was to shift some operating expenses from the district's general fund, allowing its fund balance to recover and to offset continued cuts in state funding. The funding collected since the bonds were sold in late 2016 has allowed $450,000 in general revenue expenses to be shifted to bond funds.

    This bond funding has helped the district absorb about half of the net state revenue reduction it is expected to suffer by June.  Those revenue failures mean our district fund balance at the end of the fiscal year will be around 7%, whereas a few months ago we were on track to end at around 10%.
       
    The district is projected to lose $900,000 in state funding by the end of this fiscal year in June 2017. The overall loss is due to revenue failures in the state's 1017 Fundwhich was established in 1990 as a dedicated revenue source by the HB 1017 school reform law. On April 27, 2017 State Superintendent Hofmeister announced that the state's public schools had lost $82 million since February 2017 and would lose over $100 million by June. This loss of funding is on top of the legislature's decision in May 2016 to eliminate all $33 million in textbook funding statewide and cut another $38 million in public schools activities funding, despite some politicians' misleading claims they held school funding flat and their failure to acknowledge that ever-increasing state enrollment means the budget would have to actually increase to keep pace.

    Regrettably, state leaders have repeatedly failed to address the structural deficit in the state's budget caused by repeated income tax cuts, various corporate and industry tax breaks, various off-the-top funding streams, and failure to budget for the long-term economic cycles of the petroleum industry. Instead, in recent years they have relied on one-time money, a state roads bond issue, and draining various fund balances to balance the state budget. The schools suffered repeated state revenue failures in 2016 and now that has recurred in 2017 because the various financial tricks are now played out, with fund balances so low that cash flow problems in the 1017 Fund now directly impact schools after their budgets are adopted and employee contracts are signed.

    So it has been up to the district and local voters to make up for the state's fiscal failures. The district is on track for over $1.3 million in personnel cost reductions in 2016-2017 and has implemented another administrative streamlining for 2017-2018 that should save an additional $160,000. The 2016 bond issue, which allowed $450,000 in general fund expenses to be shifted to bond funding in 2016-2017, will allow $700,000 to be shifted in 2017-2018. 

    So the bond issue is why the district is not expecting other significant personnel reductions for 2017-2018, which will preserve programs and class sizes for its students. THANK YOU, BARTLESVILLE, FOR HELPING US WEATHER THIS STORM. However, unless the state addresses its revenue problems, we can expect additional staff cuts in future years and a worsening of the teacher shortage due to low teacher salaries.

    First day on the new tennis courts

    posted Apr 19, 2017, 5:44 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 19, 2017, 5:54 PM ]


    Head tennis coach Jeff Birk had some great news on Wednesday, April 19, 2017: the six new courts at the high school were ready for play.

    So that afternoon the tennis teams were out practicing on the beautiful new courts as workers continued to construct the center stands and other finishing touches.

    In December 2016 the school board awarded an $875,880 bid to Merritt Tennis Court & Track Systems to replace five decrepit courts in the same location just north of Lyon Field at Custer Stadium. The project was funded by voters as part of the August 2016 bond issue.

    The new courts feature walkways on the north and south sides providing access to a new seating area in the middle of the court complex. Wind screens on the north and south sides will eventually feature the Bruins logo. The courts meet USTA US Open specifications. The bid came in low enough that lighting could be added on six poles, operable by a cell phone application and with an auto timer. The former lower parking lot west of the courts will become a green space, with alleyway parking spots that have been repoured.
    New courts
    Click image to enlarge it

    First new route buses put into service

    posted Apr 18, 2017, 3:41 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 3:41 PM ]

    In August 2016, 73% of participating district voters approved the $1.95 million transportation bond issue. The main selling point for that bond issue was to update the district's bus fleet with 15 new route buses, replacing buses dating back to 1998 or earlier.

    Two brand new route buses were received on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 and promptly put into service. The district hopes to have a couple more in service the following week. All 15 of the new route buses should be received by May 2017.

    New bus

    The bond issue is also funding the purchase of two activity buses and two smaller people-mover vehicles. All four of those vehicles will feature Bruins graphics on their exteriors. The activity buses should be delivered by the second week of May 2017. The people-movers are also in the pipeline.

    The new buses will be both cheaper to operate and to maintain than the old buses being retired. This will reduce the district's operating costs as it faces continued state revenue failures for public education.

    The community also passed the $17.5 million bond issue in August to support district operations. This has made it possible for the district to shift $450,000 in general fund expenses to bond funding for the current fiscal year (the bonds could not be sold until December, partway through the fiscal year). This is helping the district weather a projected $900,000 net loss in state funding for the 2016-2017 school year.

    In future fiscal years, that bond issue will allow the district to shift $700,000 in annual operating expenses from the general fund to bond funds. The support of our community is helping our public schools deal better with this continuing long-term crisis of inadequate state funding.
    New bus at BHS
    One of the new buses at the Freshman Academy at Bartlesville High School

    Bond Issue Construction Projects Update, 3/26/2017

    posted Mar 26, 2017, 11:59 AM by District Webmaster   [ updated Mar 26, 2017, 11:59 AM ]

    Progress continues on various construction projects funded by the 2016 Bond Issue.


    Tennis Courts

    The concrete is poured for the six new tennis courts at Bartlesville High School. The finished courts will be blue with a green background, and the facility is still on track for completion in April.

    Below is a nice shot of the project from a camera drone, which also provides a view of the recently refinished Doornbos Track around Lyon Field at Custer Stadium. All photographs are courtesy of Keleher Architects.

    Tennis Courts from a drone

    Installation of fencing and light poles is now underway. The new courts will feature walkways on the north and south sides providing access to a new seating area in the middle of the court complex. Wind screens on the north and south sides will feature the Bruins logo. 

    Tennis Courts Fencing

    This facility replaces five decrepit courts which were the worst in the conference, with unsafe surfaces, inadequate seating, and too few courts for tournaments.

    Softball Complex

    Footings, dirt work and concrete block installation have started on the new softball locker room at Madison Middle School.

    Softball Locker Room

    The old dugouts have been removed and new ones started.

    Dugout

    The softball area at Madison Middle School serves all secondary grade levels. When the new locker room is complete, students will no longer have to travel across parking lots to use old locker rooms in the Madison building. That will free up space for more music practice and storage rooms. The approximately 1,000 square foot softball locker room and the dugouts are the only newly built spaces in the bond issue; all other projects renovate existing spaces.

    Bids will be received on April 13, 2017 on the overall Madison Middle School renovation project, which includes improvements in its auditorium and nearby spaces for choir, band, and orchestra.


    Bruin Activity Center

    Internal walls and lighting have been installed to carve out dedicated spaces for an athletics weight room and for cheerleading inside the existing indoor practice facility. Ductwork and HVAC is now being installed, and painting is underway.

    Bruin Activity Center

    The relocation of the athletics weight room from the smaller of the two auxiliary gyms in the Phillips Field House will free up space to relocate the pom program and provide additional space in the Phillips Field House for band and orchestra use. 

    The cheerleading program's relocation to dedicated space in the Bruin Activity Center will allow them to dispense with daily movement of a bunch of mats in the larger auxiliary gym, which is used for physical education classes. A cheerleading office and locker room will be on the east side of the Phillips Field House adjoining the larger auxiliary gym.

    Bids will be received on the Phillips Field House renovation project on April 11, 2017.

    Doenges Stadium

    On the baseball front, at the Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium ceiling tile has been installed in the pressbox, HVAC units have been installed, and light installation is underway. The locker and weight rooms are now painted:

    Doenges Weight and Locker Rooms

    The transfer of the stadium to the district has made it possible to finally fix the leaky roof, a problem the city had been unable to address. The stadium floor joint seals have also been repaired:

    Floor joint seals


    Bid Packages


    Bids will be received on several projects in April 2017:
    • Furniture Package (all sites), April 4
    • High School Phillips Field House Renovation, April 11
    • Madison Middle School Renovation, April 13
    Drawings will be out to contractors on April 5 for them to develop bids on these additional projects:
    • Central Middle School Auditorium Renovation
    • Jane Phillips Elementary School Renovation
    • Hoover Elementary School Renovation
    • Hoover Elementary and Madison Middle School Access Roads
    Drawings will be out to contractors on April 15 for them to develop bids on:
    • Custer Stadium Renovation
    You can find more online about these various facility renovations, which were part of the 2016 Bond Issue. None of these needed improvements would be possible without the support of local voters.


    Bond issues help prevent staffing cuts

    posted Mar 23, 2017, 6:39 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 23, 2017, 6:39 AM ]

    The successful August 2016 bond issues for the Bartlesville Public Schools were motivated primarily by repeated shortfalls in state funding in early 2016. Repeated cuts in state funding since 2008 had led to a reduction in the district fund balance from 15% to below 6%, a level too low to ensure it could cover its December payroll as it awaited receipt of property tax revenues in January.

    So for the 2016-2017 school year, the district cut 5% of its teachers and additional administrators and support staff to address the continued loss of revenue from the state. But the district wisely did not trust that the state economy would improve nor that the legislature and governor would adequately fund public education and other state services. Since state leaders had failed to address school funding shortfalls since 2008, the district decided to seek help from local voters.

    State Leads Nation in School Funding Cuts

    Nearly 27 percent of state per pupil funding, adjusted for inflation, has been cut since 2008. That figure not only leads the nation but is nearly double the percentage of cuts made by Alabama, the second worst state for education funding reductions.


    LOCAL VOTERS SHOW THEIR SUPPORT

    The district went to voters in August 2016, asking them to increase local property taxes in order to shift at least $700,000 in additional annual operating expenses from the district's general fund to bond funds. The district projected that 15 or more teaching positions could be preserved from future cuts by this action. Local voters overwhelmingly approved, with 70% and 73% voting YES on two bond issues.

    MORE STATE REVENUE FAILURES

    During the current school year, the state has again had revenue failures in both its general fund and in dedicated funding sources for public schools. Preston Birk, the district's Chief Financial Officer, reported on 3/20/2017 to the Bartlesville Board of Education that the district is down $380,000 in state appropriated revenue from the already dismal funding from the prior year. At the current pace, he projected the district might be losing an additional $750,000 in state funding over the entire 2016-2017 school year.

    BOND ISSUES ARE HELPING PREVENT ADDITIONAL TEACHER CUTS

    The good news is that the district is currently NOT planning on any reduction in teachers nor an increase in average class sizes for 2017-2018 despite the continued reduction in state funding. The shifting of expenses to the bond issues is clearly a key reason for that happy outcome, along with additional administrative streamlining for 2017-2018 and the staffing cuts already implemented in 2016-2017.

    FUND BALANCE SLOWLY RECOVERING

    Mr. Birk reported that, with the staffing cuts and shifting of expenses to bond funds, the fund balance is projected to be at or above the minimum safe 7% level by the end of the fiscal year. Hopefully it might approach 8%.

    YOUR SCHOOLS NEED HELP FROM YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT

    Oklahoma is in an education funding crisis. Teacher salaries are so low that Bartlesville and other districts statewide are unable to find certified teachers for all open positions, even with large staffing cuts. 

    District operating revenues are so low that the district has had to ask voters to raise local property taxes to make up for the massive reductions in state funding. If, as projected, the district loses another $750,000 in state funding by the end of this school year, that will exceed the operational expense shifts provided by the bond issues. So the remaining loss and any additional future cuts will have to be borne by past and future staffing cuts.

    Bartlesville voters can be proud that their support is why their district has some of the lowest average class sizes among the state's large 6A districts. But until there is a change in attitude and support for schools in state government, the district will continue to be unable to find enough certified teachers to fill open positions. And if funding shortfalls are not addressed, eventually the district will be forced to cut more teachers and raise class sizes further.

    EDUCATION LEGISLATIVE FORUM ON APRIL 7

    Our local legislators - Rep. Earl Sears, Rep. Travis Dunlap, and Sen. Julie Daniels - have graciously agreed to participate in an Education Legislative Forum on Friday, April 7 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium at Bartlesville High School. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. We particularly hope that parents and grandparents who are able to attend will turn out and participate.
    Legislative Forum

    State funding cuts

    Bond Facility Projects Update, March 2017

    posted Mar 11, 2017, 2:27 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 11, 2017, 2:35 PM ]

    Progress continues across the district on facility projects funded by bond issues approved by voters.

    COMPLETED PROJECTS

    DOORNBOS TRACK RESURFACED
    The resurfacing of the Doornbos track at Bartlesville High School is complete. The track is already being put to use by our athletes. David Ayres, our head cross country coach who has led four state championship teams, commented, "We are so excited about the new track surface. It looks amazing and feels great! Thank you, Bartlesville, for investing in our student athletes!"
    Doornbos Track

    FORMER MADISON CAMPUS
    Closing out the facility work from the 2013 bond issue, the old buildings which once housed Madison Middle School, before its move to the adjoining former Mid-High campus, have been completely removed, improving the landscape in that area.
    Cleared site

    A FUTURE IMPROVEMENT FOR HOOVER ELEMENTARY
    The removal of the old buildings will allow for a drive to be built connecting the old Madison front loop to the back parking lot at Hoover Elementary. Parents will then be able to pick and drop off students on the east side of Hoover, with buses using its loop drive on the west side. This will ease traffic congestion on Madison Boulevard.
    New drive at Hoover




     

    PROJECTS UNDERWAY

    TENNIS COURTS AT BHS
    Just north of the track, the new tennis courts project is still on course to be completed in early April. The new courts will feature walkways on the north and south sides providing access to a new seating area in the middle of the court complex. Wind screens on the north and south sides will feature the Bruins logo, and the courts will be blue with a green background. They will meet USTA US Open specifications. The bid came in low enough that lighting could be added on six poles, operable by a cell phone application and with an auto timer. Part of the former lower parking lot west of the courts will become a green space.
    Tennis Courts

    BRUIN ACTIVITY CENTER
    Internal walls are going up inside the Bruin Activity Center indoor practice facility at Bartlesville High School. This will create dedicated spaces for an athletics weight room and for cheerleading. 

    The relocation of the athletics weight room from the smaller of the two auxiliary gyms in the Phillips Field House will free up space to relocate the pom program and provide additional space in the Phillips Field House for band and orchestra. 

    The cheerleading program's relocation to dedicated space in the Bruin Activity Center will allow them to dispense with daily movement of a bunch of mats in the larger auxiliary gym, which is used for physical education classes. A cheerleading office and locker room will be on the east side of the Phillips Field House adjoining the larger auxiliary gym.
    BAC

    DOENGES STADIUM
    At Doenges Memorial Stadium, a new HVAC system has been installed, floors leveled and old plumbing removed from the lounge, and new sealants applied to stand joints.
    Doenges Stadium

    SOFTBALL LOCKER ROOM
    Prep work is underway for the new softball locker room at Madison Middle School, which will free up space for the music programs in the main building.
    Softball

    OTHER PROJECTS
    Purchase orders have been issued for:
    Specifications are being prepared for:
    Various other facility improvements across the district are still to come, including large-scale renovations in the Phillips Field House, the lower level of Custer Stadium, and at Madison Middle School. The historic auditorium at Central Middle School will receive some upgrades, along with interior finish improvements at both Jane Phillips Elementary and Hoover Elementary. 

    It's a great time to be a Bruin!

    Track resurfaced; tennis courts poured

    posted Feb 22, 2017, 2:30 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Mar 3, 2017, 4:52 PM ]

    Progress continues on facility projects funded by the 2016 bond issue:

    Doornbos Track Resurfaced

    The Doornbos track around Lyon Field at Custer Stadium has been resurfaced.

    Track resurfaced



    Track History

    In 1988 the cinder track at Custer Stadium was replaced with the modernized Chuck Doornbos Track, via a $150,000 donation from Chuck's son Foster Doornbos & daughter Ami Preston. Chuck was a track star in high school and at the University of Kansas.

    The Doornbos family would also contribute toward a renovation of the track in 2004. An interesting note is that the original striping on the Doornbos track had a conversion error when the change from the old U.S.-measurements track to metric measurements was made, something that was caught in the 2004 track renovation.

    Over time, track surfaces wear down due to use and weather. Eventually, holes in the surface, along with warps and bubbles arise, making it sometimes difficult or uncomfortable for athletes to run on the surface.

    The original 1988 blue track surface is visible in a photo from August 2002; in 2004 the track was renovated using $233,000 in interest from the 2000 bond issue and a $33,000 donation from Chuck's daughter Ami Preston & his granddaughters, including Darian Kedy & Dana Keirsey. The track re-dedication took place at the 2004 Homecoming.

    By 2016 the track surface needed to be renewed again. Voters supported a 2016 bond issue that included funding for that. The renewal cost $127,940.


    Tennis Courts Concrete Poured

    The concrete for the six new tennis courts just north of Lyon Field was poured in February. The project is still on track for completion in early April, barring inclement weather and other typical construction delays.

    Tennis courts poured


    The two large pours had to begin at 4 a.m. because they had to be poured out and troweled smooth before the sun came up and began evaporating the moisture at the top.

    Five decrepit courts at BHS were demolished, along with a small adjacent parking lot. The old courts were the worst in the conference, with unsafe surfaces, inadequate seating, and too few courts for tournaments. The new facility will address those shortcomings.

    The five old tennis courts at the high school were the worst in the conference, with unsafe surfaces, inadequate seatings, and too few courts. Voters approved a 2016 bond issue that included replacing the tennis facility. The school board awarded a $875,880 bid to Merritt Sealing Company to replace the courts.

    Demolition of the five old courts and two small parking areas on their east and west sides began in early January. The new courts will feature walkways on the north and south sides providing access to a new seating area in the middle of the court complex. Wind screens on the north and south sides will feature the Bruins logo, and the courts will be blue with a green background. They will meet USTA US Open specifications. The bid came in low enough that lighting could be added on six poles, operable by a cell phone application and with an auto timer. The former lower parking lot west of the courts will become a green space.
    Tennis courts, another rendering

    Jane Phillips Renovations Planning Underway

    posted Feb 11, 2017, 7:42 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Feb 11, 2017, 7:42 AM ]


    JP Renovations Meeting

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