AUTHOR: EILEEN

Hed: Oxford voters to decide Tuesday on $8 million bond issue

By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

OXFORD - A rising student population is forcing Oxford School District officials to take a bold step toward meeting facility needs well into the next century.

They'll ask voters Tuesday to pass an $8 million bond issue that targets expansion at Oxford Middle School.

Officials project that by the year 2001 there will be an increase of 400 to 500 students in Oxford schools, Superintendent John Jordan said.

In the last five years, enrollment for the school district has increased. In October 1992, the district had a total enrollment of 2,725. As of the first of this month, there were 3,035 students enrolled in Oxford schools.

This year, two trailers were purchased and placed at Bramlett Elementary, creating four new classrooms for the school's 261-student second-grade class.

To help meet those needs, the school board members are hoping the public will pass Tuesday's bond issue for the construction of a 29-classroom seventh- and eighth-grade building.

"It is being widely supported," Jordan said.

Previous school bond issues have received support from voters. In the 1980s, voters passed bond issues with approval votes of 80 and 76 percent.

The current bond issue will be used to fund the new building, which will be located next to Oxford Middle School, which currently houses students in grades six through eight.

If the bond issue is passed, Oxford Middle School will become Oxford Intermediate School and house students in grades five and six.

Oxford Elementary, which currently houses grades three through five, would become a second- to fourth-grade school. Bramlett Elementary, which is currently a K-2 school, would become a K-1 school.

The new building would house science labs, a library, cafeteria and band and chorus rooms. The money from the bond issue also would be used to increase classroom space and add a multipurpose building at Oxford Elementary.

Roofs would be repaired at Oxford Middle School and Bramlett Elementary, while electrical upgrades will be done districtwide.

If approved, the bond is expected to increase the millage rate by 6.44 mills. That means the owner of a single family home valued at $100,000 could expect to pay an additional $64.40 per year or $5.40 month.

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