Bonds & Construction
Creating safe learning environments for our future
We at the Bonds and Construction Department are passionate about our work to help ensure that all Mustang Public Schools are safe, supportive, learning environments and that all our students and staffs are equipped with the highest possible quality learning resources!
The bond office works collaboratively with all schools and departments to plan and complete bond funded projects supporting all members of the MPS community. Projects range from the construction of major school additions and schoolwide remodels to the purchase of a wide range of classroom materials including microscopes, textbooks, and computers. In addition to planning with district schools, departments and teams, the bond office works closely with city, state and national organizations and with local community groups on the development and deployment of school bond projects.
Contact Your BOND PROJECTS TEAM
|Bonds and Construction Department
12400 SW 15th
Yukon, OK 73099
After two years of dedicated work, the Mustang Public Schools Long Range Planning Committee of parents, community members and school staff crafted a proposal approved by the Board of Education; the focus of the plan began and remained on what is best for the kids and providing not only classroom space but also room to expand the programs that bring our students so many opportunities as well.
On Valentine's Day 2017, MPS took a bond issue of $180.8 million to patrons, and voters turned out in record number, despite the cold and rain, to cast their ballots affirming their support for the District.
The 2017 bond issue has made it possible to plan for the district’s average student population growth with the new Riverwood Elementary (opened in August 2018), Meadowbrook Intermediate School (also opened in August 2018) and Mustang Central Middle School (opening in August 2019). Capacity on the high school campus was also be increased with a new freshman cafeteria, eight classrooms, a science academy for upper-level courses and a new visual and performing arts center.
The Growth Continues
Mustang Public Schools is one of the premier school districts in Oklahoma having been recognized repeatedly as a Top Employer and Workplace. Thanks to the continued support of the Mustang voters over the years, the district enjoys quality facilities and expanding opportunities for its students. It’s also a district where, from pre-kindergarten to the walk across the stage at graduation, everyone is a Bronco. It’s a unique continuity, gradually blending all corners of the district into one high school that is a shining star in the State of Oklahoma.
The reputation of Mustang Schools is evident when looking at its continued growth in enrollment. The district’s student population grows between 200 (2014) to 1500 (2021) students annually. That’s the equivalent of adding, on average, the population of an elementary school to the district every year. This growth would not be manageable without the continued support of the Mustang community.
Thanks to the February 14, 2017 bond issue for $180.8 million, the district’s eighth elementary school, Riverwood Elementary, opened at 44th Street and Czech Hall Road in August 2018 along with a third intermediate school, Meadow Brook Intermediate, at 15th Street and Czech Hall Road. In August 2019, the district’s third middle school, Mustang Central Middle School, opened at 44th and Czech Hall Road as well.
This bond issue made room for new students to join the district with the construction of three new schools and many program spaces. It’s important to note that the work done on Mustang High School in 2010 drastically increased its capacity. This 2017 bond proposal also included an addition of eight classrooms, a science academy, and a freshman cafeteria/commons, all of which expanded the capacity of MHS to account for the aforementioned growth. The Performing Arts Center also increased capacity and decreased the student load on the main campus by moving fine arts classes/teachers to the new facility.
The Mustang Board of Education has previously made a commitment to keep taxes as steady as possible for the community; this bond issue was no different. The bond issue created opportunities for all students, and although it was the largest bond issue that the district had taken to the voters, it had little to no impact on taxes: the millage target has remained at 28 with the district growth serving to offset that, making the actual tax millage much lower.
The need for new schools, classrooms, and program space is a wonderful problem for any school district to have. It speaks to the dedication of the teachers and administrators and the support of the community. Along with that comes the challenge of meeting the needs of our students and staff. Information about what the district has accomplished with past bond issues is available in the tabs above. Please take a moment to read the questions and answers below.
- When is the election and where do I vote?
- Where did these recommendations come from?
- What will this do to my taxes?
- Will this bond help with overcrowding?
- What about a second high school?
- Which schools are going to benefit?
- Why do we need a performing arts center?
- What about maintenance & repair(s)?
- Why move transportation/build a warehouse?
- A band practice field?
- What is an Educational Resource Center?
- What about Athletics?
- Why is the bond resolution & ballot language written the way it is?
- How can bond money be spent?
- How can the district afford to staff a new building when teachers didn't get a step raise when the new year started?
- Will the new construction at MHS include safe rooms?
The bond package came as a recommendation from the district’s Long Range Planning Committee. This group of administrators, faculty, parents and community members has been meeting for two years to identify and prioritize the district's future needs. The committee determined overcrowding is a top concern for the district and recommended these construction projects as a way to alleviate overcrowding while still meeting the district's future needs to accommodate continuous growth. Other projects will not only help alleviate overcrowding but they will also provide opportunities for kids. From the performing arts center to the band room at Canyon Ridge, projects were designed to not only keep up with growth but also expand what Mustang can offer to its students.
We expect little to no effect on taxes. Through careful planning Mustang Public Schools has worked to keep taxes steady. The Mustang Board of Education set a goal in 2009 to keep the millage level within the 28 mill range. Thanks to the incredible growth in the district's Net Assessed Valuation, the millage has always come in less than 28 mills. We expect the same thing to happen with this bond issue.
The district's financial advisor told the school board he believed the district would benefit most from using what is known as a lease revenue bond. This is the same type of bond that was passed in 2009 and 2012, which allowed the district to fund the extensive renovations at Mustang High School, add two intermediate schools, an elementary school, gyms and more. This bond is different from a general obligation bond, in that the funds are available upfront, so the district may begin construction immediately and work on multiple projects simultaneously. Use of a lease revenue bond will allow the district to receive the funds upfront so construction projects may immediately begin. If the district had to rely only on general obligation bonds, which can only be 10 percent of the district’s Net Assessed Valuation, it would take approximately 22 years before the district would complete all of the buildings this lease revenue bond will complete in the next five years. Receiving all the money upfront and putting all the buildings on the ground in three to five years will save millions by eliminating inflation that effects construction costs.
Yes. It will make a difference at every level.
Elementary: For an ideal learning environment, there should be no more than 600 children in an elementary school. With the recent growth in the Mustang area, five elementary schools in the district currently exceed this guideline. Trails Elementary alone grew by 12 percent this year and is at 99.3 percent capacity. This bond will build a new elementary school on the northwest side of the district, where the growth rate is the highest.
Intermediate: A new intermediate school for fifth and sixth grade will also be constructed, taking some pressure off of both Horizon Intermediate which is at 87.5 percent capacity and Canyon Ridge, the intermediate for the north side of the district. It opened in 2013 and has already reached 97.2 percent capacity.
Middle School: At the middle school level, Mustang North is at 93.6 percent capacity. Mustang Middle School’s occupied capacity is much lower. Changing the boundary lines for those two schools to even out the populations could be necessary but will only be a temporary solution. Even with changing the boundary line, the district will still need a third middle school within the next three years.
With the current state of Mustang High School, with only the buildings currently in place, MHS is at 83 percent capacity. Pictures of the hallways always circulate on the first few days of school that give the impression that the school is overcrowded. The hallways are very crowded the first few weeks until students learn different ways to reach their next destination.
Projects on this bond issue will considerably expand the capacity of the school with the addition of eight classrooms, a freshman lunchroom, a two-story science academy and a new Performing Arts Center. Moving the transportation department and school bus parking from the south side of the high school will free up even more space that can be utilized in the future so that we can continue to provide the world class education and opportunities that Mustang parents have come to expect.
Having one high school makes it possible for the district to offer a great deal more opportunities, advanced placement and speciality classes to the students. If there were two high schools, the district would have to make the same courses and extra curricular opportunities available at two campuses instead of one. With two campuses, Mustang would not be able to offer to the students the incredible variety that we can by maintaining one campus. When the AP Scholars were recognized recently, many of them mentioned how the size of the school afforded them opportunities they could not have gotten at a smaller school.
Also, maintaining one campus means we don’t divide the community; everyone from pre-k through seniors is a Bronco. Very few districts of our size have the opportunity to support the students and programs of one high school.
Also, building a new high school would consume almost all of the bond dollars for the next 7-10 years. Both intermediate schools are at or nearing capacity. Mustang North is at 93 percent capacity. Two elementary schools are in the 90 percent capacity range with two more at 88 percent. The high school, even without additions, has room to grow. Many other schools do not.
All of the schools and students will benefit. Pressure will be eased at the schools regarding growing student populations at all levels. Older elementary schools will have some funds available to update their media centers and make improvements. Other items included in the bond that will benefit all students included additional and much needed heating and air conditioning improvements, technology upgrades, textbooks and more.
Our programs are so popular and our student population has grown so extensively that the current facilities, from the stage to the classrooms are simply not big enough and safety is becoming an issue.
Mustang High School has an auditorium with a stage, flanked by a choir room on one side and theatre classroom on the other. The stage and these classrooms were built in 1971. In 1971, Mustang High School had 60 graduates and would be considered a 3A school. Mustang High School now has 2900 students in grades 9-12 and is the fifth largest high school in the state. This year there are 1,495 students at the high school in fine arts. That’s 51 percent of the MHS student population counting each student only once. Many of the students are in two or more fine arts programs.
Behind the auditorium is the band facility, constructed in 2002, approximately 14 years ago. Neither of the facilities can accommodate the number of students who would like to participate. Neither the entire choir nor the entire concert band can fit on the stage. When the middle schools reserve the auditorium for a concert, students are sitting behind the side curtains because there is no room for them all on the stage.
Mustang High School added a stage craft class, where students learn to design and build sets. Students are turned away every year because of space constrictions. Their storage is a small loft to stage right where they carry heavy set pieces up the stairs to store.
For theatre, instructor Emily Farnham must limit the students’ selection of plays to those that will fit on stage and she must reserve the stage for the entire year in advance. For Annie, the 2014 district-wide musical, the set pieces, including two large staircases, had to fold to no more than three feet wide to be moved off-stage. There is no fly system, no ability to change scenes with a backdrop. Objects must be constructed to suggest scenes. “Annie” included students from second grade through seniors as well as several MPS staff members. Should someone exit one side of the stage and need to enter from the other side, they often have to completely leave the building even in the rain or ice, to walk around to the other side; there’s no way to cross behind the stage.
The size of the facilities also has an economic impact. Storage is so limited some set pieces are stored in the stairwells. They regularly must throw away items that could be used again but there is no where to keep anything long term.
What will happen to the current auditorium and classrooms?
The current auditorium and stage will continue to be used for assemblies, meetings and size appropriate performances. The MHS band would take over the classroom spaces. As it is, they’ve had to take one of their classrooms and turn it into storage for instruments and music because the room designed for that nearly 15 years ago cannot begin to hold the inventory for a band and color guard of over 300 students. Storage areas have been turned into offices and teaching spaces into instrument storage.
Mustang Public Schools has been implementing energy savings strategies for the past two years from using peak hours to installing new heating and air conditioning controls. During the 2015-2016 school year MPS lowered its total energy costs by $351,000 compared to the previous year.
For new buildings, maintenance costs are minimal because day to day upkeep is less expensive. New buildings have features such as better energy efficiency, which can decrease the amount of maintenance that is necessary. Older buildings, and problems such as leaky roofs, peeling flooring and less energy efficiency, require more frequent and sometimes more expensive maintenance and repairs.
Also, as the district’s Net Assessed Valuation continues to grow (it grew by 8.8 percent this year alone), more money goes to the district’s Building Fund which is used to pay for utilities.
Making transportation more centrally located will make the department much more efficient, shortening the routes to get to many schools. As a result, there will be significant savings in fuel and less wear and tear on the bus fleet. As a bonus, it will also reduce the traffic load on south Mustang Road around Mustang Elementary, Mustang High School, Mustang Middle School and Mustang Horizon Intermediate. The move will also free up valuable space on the high school campus for parking in the short term.
Mustang Schools desperately needs a warehouse. The district outgrew the current one years ago. We cannot get discounts by buying supplies in bulk because we have no where to store it. There are literally old portable buildings and railroad cars holding surplus and supplies scattered across the district. In previous bond issues, the focus had to be on classroom space alone. In this bond issue the district can address many items that have been put on the back burner for years.
Why build a marching band practice field?
Currently, when the band starts practicing in the heat of the summer, they spend their days in the student parking lot which is striped for spaces and for yard lines. It’s newly black-topped, so it’s smooth, but the surface temperature reaches as high as 120 degrees in the summer. Movement of other traffic from summer programs can create a safety hazard as cars navigate around the band members to leave the parking lot.
During the school year, the MHS band competes with freshman, junior varsity and varsity football teams for time on the field. The practice field would be used primarily for the band, to move them off the parking lot. In the off season, it will be used by a host of other sports or PE classes that need additional space.
An Educational Resource Center is a one-stop shop for district patrons and a blessing to the teachers. An ERC would allow Mustang Schools to have central enrollment open all year. Currently, the district holds central enrollment for a few weeks in the summer at MHS. Parents who need to enroll their children can enroll all of them in one place. Once central enrollment closes, parents must go to each child’s school and enroll them individually.
The building would also hold current central office departments like human resources and the finance department. Mustang Public School’s technology department is responsible for the care, maintenance and updating of more than 9,000 computers, iPads and Chromebooks, as well as the wireless access points and other required infrastructure, smart boards, security and more. Their storage has spilled out of the offices and lines their hallway in the administration building, sometimes head high. The four techs in the department are housed behind the administration building in an aging portable building with little room to work.
MPS long ago out grew the original board room, half of which has been turned into offices. An Educational Resource Center would include a room suitable for board meetings. It would also double as conference rooms for professional development training. The building will also include a library where teachers can check out resources to benefit their students.
The ERC would bring essential positions to a central location. The district’s content coordinators are currently housed at Mustang Education Center. There’s no room for them in the administration building where they could work easily with the directors of elementary and secondary schools. The district’s crisis counselor would also be housed at the ERC. This would make it possible for parents to meet with her about their children in privacy and away from the school their child attends.
Out of the entire amount of the bond, 5 percent would be going toward athletic projects including a new wrestling room, tennis courts, a football field house expansion and soccer facility improvements. There are some students who make it through to graduation only because they found somewhere to fit in athletics. Whatever sport they play may be the only place where they experience success. At the high school level alone, more than 30 percent of the students are involved in at least one sport. Many are involved in two or more. Providing them with additional space to help the programs be successful and keep up with enrollment growth makes sense.
The answer has several parts.
1. A good thing about opening a new school is that it doesn’t require the addition of an entirely new staff. Some new staff, absolutely, but many teachers are pulled from other buildings as the boundaries are realigned to populate the new school and take pressure off the rest of the schools at that level. Then, as the population grows, new teachers are added to that school.
2. And as the population grows, the district’s revenue will grow which will allow for the hiring of additional staff.
3. We have been fighting for three years to stabilize the budget regardless of what the state does. We have an incredible team working on that and it has been stabilized. We are in a very good position, unlike many schools in the state. Our Standard & Poor's rating even went up.
4. The frozen step raise for our teachers was an anomaly. It won’t happen every year. It was part of the plan to stabilize the budget.
5. And the alternative to not opening new schools is to increase class sizes. MPS is blessed with a supportive community that has made it possible to open new schools in recent years.
6. Also, as far as the utilities are concerned, those will be paid out of the building fund, which has been growing and is totally separate from the general fund. Alan Green is the director of facilities. He has been working diligently to lower utility costs. The district’s utility bills for the 2015-2016 school year were more than $300,000 less than the year before.
- MMS Tennis Court Construction
- Renovation/Remodel District-Wide
- Additional Parking (MHS Campus)
- Lease Revenue Bond Projects
- Elementary School #8
- Intermediate School #3
- Performing Arts Center
- Middle School #3
- Science Academy-HS
- Canyon Ridge Band Room
- Freshman Cafeteria/Commons-HS
- Eight (8) Classroom Addition-HS
- Football Fieldhouse Expansion
- Educational Resource Center
- Soccer Facility Improvements
- Wrestling Room
- MHS Tennis Courts Construction
- Marching Band Practice Field
- Technology Infrastructure/Devices
- Instructional Materials/Textbooks
- Land Purchase
- Playground Equipment
- HVAC Controls & Equipment
The Mustang High School student parking lot got a facelift over the summer of 2016 plus the addition of several more spaces. The MHS track, which was chipped and crumbling was also replaced, both thanks to the passage of the February 2016 bond issue.
The Parking Lot
The district was able to add a two-inch overlay to the deteriorated lot, plus extend the parking spaces to the south behind the stadium. The extension was the dream of MHS student Madison Morrow.
Every January, Mustang partners with Yukon and El Reno to hold the Listening Conference. Students have the opportunity to make a presentation on an issue or problem that they've identified to the people who have the power to effect change. Local leaders such as school officials, law enforcement and state legislators attend.
In 2015, Morrow presented a proposal, including large diagrams, that provided ideas for expansion and stressed the need for repaving. "At the time, my car sat low to the ground so I would always hit the potholes and [I] worried about my suspension," she said. "My best friend was in the marching band and they practice in the student parking lot in the summer. She tripped one day, tore open her knee and had to get stitches."
Morrow's presentation got the attention of the Mustang administration. The district knew the parking lot was in need of an overlay, but was especially interested in Morrow's idea for expansion. Deputy Superintendent Charles Bradley and County Commissioner Dave Anderson approached her after the meeting. She was invited to present her ideas to the Long Range Planning Committee. The goal of the committee, made up of school officials and patrons of the district, is to identify the needs of the district for the next 10 years and how bond funds could be used to satisfy those needs.
Morrow's plan had the extension going all the way to Dowden to create another exit. Although the district was not able to extend the paving that far, the parking lot did receive the overlay and extending the lot created another 55 parking spaces.
Morrow, who graduated in May 2016, is thrilled with the results. "I think it's awesome," she said. "It feels great to leave a legacy behind even if no one knows it was me."
As part of the 2016 bond issue, the 12-year-old MHS track, which was a polyurethane mat, was also replaced. The old track, installed in 2004, was failing, with holes and chips in the surface.
The new 13mm Plexitrac Accelerator was installed by Merritt Tennis and Track Systems, an Oklahoma company in business since 1979. The Plexitrac system is made with poly-resin binders. The surface comes with a five year guarantee with the possibility of an additional five year guarantee.
Installation of the new track was $202,880. Track covers have also been purchased for high traffic areas to protect the surface.
- When is the election and where do I vote?
- Why is this bond issue important?
- Can't the district cut spending enough to handle the bond issue items?
- Tell me more about instructional materials and equipment.
- Why is technology equipment on the bond issue?
- Maintenance Repair, bus replacement and repair and paving/resurfacing and repairs?
- What will this bond issue do to my taxes?
- What percentage of voters must support the bond election?
- Can the bond money be used for teacher and support staff salaries?
- What if I am going to be out of town on election day, Feb. 9, 2016?
- Voters will see two propositions on the ballot on election day. Why?
The bond election is Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any registered voter can vote at their regular polling place. Don't forget to take a photo ID. Click here to see a list of polling places. Don't know which polling place is yours? Call the Canadian County Election Board at 405-422-2422.
This bond issue would be used to offset costs from the General Fund and Building Fund for necessary items to maintain the progress in the district. The State of Oklahoma suffered a $611 million shortfall by the end of the last fiscal year. Legislators voted to hold education harmless, meaning school districts could expect the same funding as the year before. With Mustang Public Schools and other growing districts like us this still equates to a cut. More than 300 new students moved into the district over the summer and no new additional funds were included to educate them, transport them or provide for their textbooks and other needs. Since 2009, per pupil funding has gone down every year.
Experts at the state level have predicted Oklahoma will see another shortfall that could range from more than $600 million to $1 billion. District administrators have been told to brace for a cut. This bond issue would allow us to be good stewards and keep up with the maintenance and repair of our 13 school sites, continue our progress in increasing security and technology, purchase textbooks, and repair or replace buses. The bond issue will make a difference to every school site.
Larger, growing school districts typically use these types of maintenance bond issues to keep on target with progress and upkeep of facilities.
No. To makes the cuts necessary in this financial climate would require cutting programs that benefit our students and reducing personnel. We knew the state was experiencing shortfalls. In anticipation of this, the district put an efficiency plan into place last year and cut $1.4 million from spending. The majority of the general fund - around 90 percent - is tied up in salaries. Further cuts would mean larger class sizes and program cuts.
The largest item on the proposed bond issue is for instructional materials and equipment. Mustang Schools spends as much as $900,000 annually of general fund dollars for new textbooks. The state allows $55 per textbook, but many cost as much as $125 each.
The state mandates textbook adoption cycles. The subjects are typically on a six-year rotation. English Language Arts textbooks for our student body are being purchased this year. Next year, the district will replace math books. With growth of 300 to more than 500 students a year, MPS also has to purchase the additional textbooks across all grade levels for all subjects for new students. The $1.4 million request on the bond issue will make a significant difference in the district's ability to provide enough textbooks to meet student needs.
Mustang Public Schools has been increasing security across the district with card readers, cameras and more. Without this bond issue, the district will fall behind in our security as well as in providing the technology infrastructure we need to give our students every available opportunity academically.
Yes. Mustang Public Schools is one of the premier 6A districts in Oklahoma, serving more than 10,800 students at 13 school sites. The district has a comprehensive plan to maintain the facilities and buses the patrons have provided for our kids. To put off needed repairs will put the district behind in the maintenance schedule and could lead to larger problems in the future with building maintenance and more buses with more than 100,000 miles on the road.
Through careful planning Mustang Public Schools has worked to keep taxes steady. The Mustang Board of Education set a goal in 2009 to keep the millage level within the 28 mill range. Thanks to the incredible growth in the district's Net Assessed Valuation, the millage has always come in less than 28 mills. We expect the same thing to happen with this bond issue.
You can vote early at the Canadian County Election Board Office in El Reno on the Thursday and Friday before the election from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Canadian County Election Board is located at 200 S Bickford Ave, El Reno, OK 73036
Or, you can choose to vote by absentee ballot. To request an absentee ballot, you can download a form from http://www.ok.gov/elections/Voter_Info/Request_Absentee_Ballot/ or simply request an absentee ballot by sending a letter that includes your name, your date of birth, the address at which you are registered to vote, the election you're requesting a ballot for, the address where it should be mailed and your signature. Fax, mail or personally deliver your letter to the Canadian County Election Board. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is always 5 p.m. on Wednesday preceding the election, or for this election, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.
If your ballot is mailed to you, you must return it to the county election board by mail. An absentee ballot must be RECEIVED by the county election board before 7 p.m. on election day to be counted.
By law, school buses must be a separate vote in a bond proposition. On Feb. 9, when voters go to the polls, the first proposition will be everything but buses: technology, HVAC maintenance, land, textbooks and paving repair. The second proposition will be only transportation: handicap buses for our special needs population and regular route buses to replace aging buses in the fleet.
1. Provide for improvements to the Mustang Public Schools, to include, but not be limited to acquiring and installing technology services and equipment as well as Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) components as needed district-wide. - $400,000
2. Provide for improvements to the Mustang Public Schools, to include, but not be limited to repairing or replacing HVAC, electrical and mechanical equipment as needed district-wide. - $1,150,000
3. Provide for improvements to the Mustang Public Schools, to include, but not be limited to acquiring land for the construction of future schools and/or district facilities in the south-central area of the district. - $400,000
4. Provide for improvements to the Mustang Public Schools, to include, but not be limited to textbooks, instructional materials, and/or equipment as needed district-wide. - $1,500,000
5. Provide for improvements to the Mustang Public Schools, to include, but not be limited to repairing or resurfacing paving as needed district-wide. - $600,000
As part of the overall bond program that systematically works to address needs in the district, Mustang Public Schools brought a smaller, focused bond issue to the voters in 2014. A combination of factors including lower interest costs, rising property values spread across a growing population and retiring debt made this issue possible in the bond program.
MPS has spent years simply trying to keep up with growth. The district grew by more than 800 students between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. This bond issue allowed the district to touch the lives of students through programs that make a difference to them. The bond issue provided special emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and math) and provided additional opportunities for four programs: JROTC, Baseball, Vo-Ag and Softball. These are the kinds of programs where a student can find a niche - somewhere to belong and somewhere to be successful. These are the kinds of programs that keep kids in school through graduation. The bond also included $1 million for a storm shelter at the Mustang Education Center, and the installation of additional storm shelters on the MHS campus.
The $7 million bond issue set aside $1.4 million for a JROTC center. The 8,800 square foot facility includes a common drill space area, a classroom, bathrooms with changing areas, two offices and more. MA+ Architecture designed the building.
The program got its start in the old crafts building, which was originally the district's bus barn in the 1940s. When Mustang High School underwent a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion, the crafts building was razed to make room for new buildings. The Bronco Battalion moved into three classrooms at MHS, had storage in a different location and had drill practice in the 1946 PE building or the 1964 gym.
Mustang's Bronco Battalion was established in June 2005 and quickly gained notoriety as one of the most successful programs in the state. It wasn't long before the program was known nationally at the Army JROTC Academic and Leadership Bowl Championship in Washington D.C. The Bronco Battalion is one of two in the world out of 1,732 programs to qualify six teams for the competition in recent years.
The baseball/softball practice facility was completed in 2015. The concrete block and metal building is 8550 square feet and located next to the MHS baseball field on Juniper Drive. The new facility includes movable netting, which is flexible enough to be moved into multiple configurations or pulled aside completely to allow teams to take fielding practice.
The building is currently configured to include five 75-foot cages and five 25-foot cages. Movable mats that include a painted home plate will protect the turf. The baseball booster club bought the pitching machines. The building also includes two bathrooms, a custodial closet, electrical closet/storage, multi-purpose room for changing and filming and a girls' changing area.
The 2012 bond issue, the largest in the school's history, once again focused on providing schools for the rapidly increasing student population. An optimum size for an elementary school is typically no more than 600 students. At the time the bond issue was passed, three of the district's six elementary schools had exceeded that number. By 2012-2013, the number would rise to four. Trails Elementary and Valley Elementary had the most students enrolled, 871 and 921, respectively.
The 2012 bond issue provided for the creation of two intermediate centers to house fifth and sixth graders. By pulling the fifth graders out of the elementary schools and the sixth graders out of the middle schools, some pressure was relieved on all kindergarten through eighth grade sites. Canyon Ridge Intermediate School was constructed on Sara Road. The original Mustang Middle School, which later was turned into a home for ninth graders as Mustang Mid-High, was transformed again. The repurposed building was reopened in 2013-2014 as Mustang Horizon Intermediate.
While the opening of these too buildings came not a moment too soon, Two of the district's elementary schools were still above the optimum enrollment limit, with Valley at 831 and Trails at 886. Thankfully, the 2012 bond issue provided for the construction of Prairie View Elementary near 59th Street and County Line Road. After months of planning meetings, the building opened in 2014-2015. The attendance boundaries had also been redrawn for each of the elementary schools. Where the highest growth was occurring on the north side of the district, for example, Trails Elementary's boundary was reduced to slow growth at the school while the boundary for Centennial Elementary and others on the south side of the district were increased.
Thanks to the 2012 bond issue, the Mustang High School Event Center opened in 2015 on the east side of the MHS campus. Mustang High School has been using what locals call the "new" gym since it opened in 1964, more than 15 years ago. The building more than served its purpose thanks to the commitment the district has made to upkeep of facilities. After five decades, though, the building was no longer large enough to accommodate events and maintenance problems were on the rise.
The MHS Event Center, a 62,000 square foot facility, will be used for basketball, wrestling, volleyball and special events. There are 2,240 fixed seats, nearly doubling the seating of the current gym. The facility includes nine locker rooms for varsity, junior varsity, freshman boys' and girls' basketball, girls' volleyball and boys' and girls' tennis. There is also a training room, fitness area and coaches' offices. An upper and lower concourse includes restrooms and concessions. The event center features a plaza-style entry and secure area for players and coaches.
Also part of the 2012 bond issue were a new gym for Mustang Elementary and a remodeled gym for Valley Elementary. The new and remodeled facility replaced the old gyms constructed in the mid 1970s.
Thank you to the voters who approved these projects and made them a reality!
The most visible accomplishment of the 2009 bond issue was the reinvention of Mustang High School. Voters overwhelming approved the bond issue with more than 80 percent yes votes. The project was completed in three phases, and students continued attending classes on the campus during construction. The renovated campus officially opened in 2012.
Mustang High School was originally the entire school site for Mustang Public Schools, housing grades kindergarten through 12th grade. Before the bond issue was passed, even grades nine through 12 were becoming too large to be housed on the campus. The freshman were then moved next door to the old middle school, renamed Mustang Mid-High, to alleviate overcrowding at MHS. Although the move was necessary, and utilized resources the district already had, instructional time was continually lost as the freshman were bused to the high school for speciality classes.
Before the construction and remodeling, Mustang High School was a collection of more than 15 different buildings. Through August heat, freezing winter weather and spring storms, students made their way outside from building to building. The configuration also made securing the campus difficult. Buildings had to be left open for students to enter.
Completed in three phases, MA+ Architecture and Timberlake Construction remodeled approximately 91,000 square feet of existing facilities and added 79,000 square feet in additional classrooms, a new administrative area and a new cafeteria. The open area in front of the auditorium was enclosed to become the commons. Additionally, the main classroom buildings were all connected under one roof, making it possible to secure the majority of the campus.
Also, an additional 41,000 square foot building was added in phase three, creating a freshman academy. The district's ninth graders were moved back to campus, but had their own building and their own lunch period. The football stadium was also renovated, taking it from a Class 3A to a 6A facility. Instead of fans staring into the sun from the east side of the stadium, new stadium seating was constructed on the west side.
In 2007, voters approved a bond that included funds for the MHS Health and Wellness Center. The center, a 45,000 square foot facility, boasts two regulation-sized basketball courts, 600 square yards of turf, locker and training rooms. A running track is on the second floor, and cardio and weight equipment is available as well.
The Health and Wellness Center, truly a multi-purpose facility, dramatically increased the district's ability to provide for the needs of students and student athletes. Before the center opened, many basketball teams were scheduling practices at 6 a.m. or late in the evening to get time in the "new" gym, which opened in 1964. Basketball was not the only sport that needed time in the gym; volleyball uses gym space as do any outdoor sports - from baseball to track - who are forced inside due to inclement weather.
The Health and Wellness Center answered a need for Mustang Public Schools to move beyond the 1960s Class 3A facilities. The day the center opened, it immediately provided multiple opportunities for our 6A population at Mustang High School. Today the Health and Wellness Center is the home of MHS volleyball games and multiple basketball practices. Cheer and Pom also practice in the facility. It's used for PE classes and weight room workouts. The district also uses the facility for academic testing and it serves as an after-school recreation area for students.
The 2007 bond issue also expanded our capabilities of accommodating the explosive growth in our elementary population with classroom additions across the district. This bond also made it possible to retire some of the aging bus fleet, purchase band uniforms, improve technology and repair and maintain district buildings. #MPSThanksYou voters!
The most notable accomplishment of the 2005 bond issue was the construction of Centennial Elementary, the district's first new elementary school since Mustang Creek Elementary was constructed in 1994; between the construction of Creek and the opening of Centennial in 2007, Mustang Public Schools grew by 1,855 students.
Centennial Elementary, with its interior city sidewalk theme, was a beautiful addition to the district and relieved overcrowding pressure on the other five elementary schools. Nestled in a neighborhood off of Czech Hall Road, it's close enough for many children to walk to school.
Other major accomplishments of the 2005 bond included a new vo-ag classroom and softball and soccer locker facilities. Mustang Schools has more than 1,200 students in the band program. Portions of this bond were used to purchase additional instruments. In addition to improving the district warehouse and administration to keep up with the needs of a district growing at this rate, MPS replaced some high mileage buses, added a new passenger van and a vocational-agricultural truck. Maintenance vehicles and equipment and pavement repair at Mustang Valley Elementary, Mustang North Middle School and Lakehoma Elementary were also included.