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School leaders push bond issue for better heating and cooling system

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 7/25/2014 7:23 pm
OKOLONA, Miss. (WTVA)-- Okolona school leaders hope the passage of a bond issue next month will give their students better cooling and heating conditions.

That's just one of the problems they hope money will help solve.

The outside of the old Okolona Elementary School building shows the years of wear and tear.

Last year, there were no classes taking place in the old building, because school leaders say there is inadequate heating and cooling systems.

So, right now it is the district's central office.

But, Superintendent Dexter Green is counting on the people of Okolona to pass a bond issue in August that will help to change all of that.

"Over the years, our students, they have suffered with not adequate heating and cooling units. And, that's something we are trying to address. We're trying to address the fact that we have leaky roofs," said Green.

Green says the distict could really use more money than they're asking taxpayers.

"The $2 million that they are requesting, it's not enough. We would love to build a new building. But, our tax base bonding capacity will not support that," he continued.

Green says the bond issue vote comes at a critical time for the district after two years of state conservatorship.

Parents like Denise Crape echo that sentiment adding that the students need all the help they can get.

"The test scores are up again this year and parents like myself and others are excited about their improvment," she said.

Green says that $2 million will help make other needed improvements, such as enhancing athletic facilities and buying better playground equipment.

"Where you see there is growth in the school you will see growth in the town. Of course when you see growth in the town you will see improvement in the school," Crape said. 

It will take a favorable vote of 60 percent for the bond issue to pass.

Officials say the passage would increase property taxes by about $98 a year on average.
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