On September 26, Oxford will have a decision to make on a proposed $38 million bond referendum which will go toward building a new elementary school along with additions and renovations to other schools in the district.
At a cost of just under $16 million, the new elementary school would be located at the intersection of Washington Avenue and North 5th Street where the C. M. Scott Center currently resides. Oxford Elementary School is currently filled, and Superintendent Brian Harvey knows that expansion is necessary.
“We’re simply out of room at OHS. When we address these renovations, it will create classroom space to those other buildings,” Harvey said. “Our growth continues to expand. Bonds are the only way to build facilities we can’t save up enough operational funds to do so.
The other renovations include adding classroom spaces, finishing Oxford High School, adding fine arts programs and more. The list of these projects can be seen below.
Harvey explained that the cost to taxpayers would be small, but it would go a long way in creating a fostering learning environment to Oxford students. The scale shows that if your home is valued at $100K your cost will be $38 per year, and the amount multiples according to your home value.
Harvey knows that not everyone has a child in the district, but he hopes that everyone sees the impact that schools can have.
“Communities represent schools and schools represent communities, and we are very lucky to live in the community that we are in,” Harvey said. “Property values are high, and your home and your property are an investment that you hope goes up. I realize that there are people on a fixed income and there are people that don’t need their property values to go up, but I think for the good of the community that this is something we need to do.”
The Oxford Board of Aldermen recommended the referendum through a unanimous vote, and the project has received support from Mayor Robyn Tannehill.
“I am supportive of the Oxford School District Bond Referendum,” Mayor Tannehill said. “I believe at the heart of any strong community is a great public-school system. Having the top-rated school district in the State is certainly an honor our town carries proudly. Oxford continues to grow at a record rate. In order to accommodate the number of students enrolling in our district and still maintain the superior level of education being provided, we must support the efforts to build new schools.”
An open forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters Oxford/North Mississippi on the referendum will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 21 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
Early voting is currently taking place, and ballots can be picked up from City Hall. On the 26th, voting will take place at the Oxford Conference Center from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
For more information, you can view community questions and the school district’s full presentation, here.
Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.HERE!