Oxford citizens will be heading to the polls Tuesday to vote in a special election on the issuance of $37 million in general obligation school bonds for capital improvements in the Oxford School District.
The bond includes plans to create space for a highly requested Pre-K program for 3-year-olds.
Voters will simply answer “Yes” or “No” on the ballot Tuesday.
All Oxford citizens will vote at the Oxford Conference Center, regardless of which ward they live in. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The referendum vote is being held by the Lafayette County Circuit Clerk and election commissioners on behalf of the city of Oxford.
At a July public hearing, Superintendent Bradley Roberson outlined the district’s needs for expansion and renovation. Enrollment growth is projected at 2.75%–3.25% annually over the next ten years.
District leadership made adjustments before the decision to pursue the bond, such as realigning its elementary schools in 2021 to address the shortage of classroom space.
The capital improvement plans in the $37 Million bond include three major projects: the renovation of Oxford Early Childhood Center, more classrooms at Oxford High and several athletic and outdoor facility upgrades.
Hotty Toddy News will announce the outcome of the election as soon as the results are released.
Oxford Early Childhood Center (3-K and 4-K students)
- Replace cracked/even sidewalks
- Replace sewer pipe from building to Hwy 30
- Replace drainage structure at north fence line
- Add chain link fence separating pre-K play from CTE area
- Add additional playground equipment and relocate the swings
- Replace parent drop-off canopy (alternate)
- Replace exterior metal wall panels on building and paint brick (alternate)
- Add playground surfacing at the exterior of gym for outdoor classroom space
- Add canopy from building to gymnasium (alternate)
- Renovate current administrative offices into 11 classrooms for a PreK-3 program (adding restroom to each classroom, storage and cubbies)
- Remove wall from 4 classrooms to create two large classroom spaces
- Update two multi-hole restrooms to preK size/height toilets and sinks
- Update kitchen
- New floors, reconfigure equipment, lower serving window, ADA compliant restroom, new tile in cafeteria
- Renovate gymnasium
- Add single-hole restroom, replace gym floor with soft sports flooring, add curtain to the stage
Oxford High School Addition and Renovation
- New building that houses 8-10 classrooms
– Career Technical Education classrooms (Law and Public Safety, Informational Technology, Business and Marketing, Software Development, Health Science)
– ROTC Classroom, Armory, office, storage
– Two offices, Conference room, staff workroom
– Storage areas, restrooms, mechanical closet, exterior
- New turf Drill Field for OHS Band and ROTC
- New guard building with entry gates (alternate)
- Parking spaces (10) at the front of the building (alternate)
- Parking spaces (82) for student parking (alternate)
- Relocate the existing ROTC obstacle course (alternate)
Oxford Middle School Athletic Field
- New Turf soccer field running east and west (white lined)
- New Add two football practice fields running north and south (60 yards)
Athletic Facility Addition & Renovation
New Additional Building
- Weight room
- Team meeting room
- Multi-hole restrooms
- Janitor/mechanical/electrical closet(s)
- Rework of existing parking lot
Renovation of Existing Facility
- Minor demolition of walls on first floor
- Addition of walls and partitions to create smaller classroom space
- Rework space to create larger training room
- Rework laundry room and split into laundry and kitchen area
Central Elementary Exterior Basketball Court
- New outdoor basketball court/multi-use surface adjacent to the playground
Financial Preparation and Impact on Taxpayers
Fiscal responsibility over the past five years has provided a surplus in the district’s fund balance for several recent construction projects and an upcoming four-classroom addition at Della Davidson Elementary. Construction at Della Davidson is slated to begin before the year’s end.
The Oxford School District ranks the 14th lowest in administrative costs percentage among all school districts in Mississippi, according to a report that the Mississippi Department of Education releases annually.
The district maintains measurable goals by which leadership is expected to perform; those financial goals on the district scorecard are:
- Maintain a fund balance ratio (general funds only) greater than 25% (fund balance/general fund expenditures).
- Maintain a debt capacity ratio of less than 15% (general obligation bond debt/total assessed value).
If the bond passes, taxpayers will see an increase in their property taxes based on their home’s assessed value, not market value.
To view a home’s assessed value, voters can “search property tax information” on the Circuit Clerk’s webpage at oxfordms.net.
To read more about the capital improvement plans, visit oxfordsd.org/bond2023.