If approved, the bond issue will also fund renovations and expansion at existing campuses. Growth over several recent years has pushed enrollment over capacity at several campuses.
"Overcrowding is the reason we need to build for 2020," said OSD Superintendent Kim Stasny. "We've got to accommodate [more than] 4,000 students."
Board members acknowledged the awkward timing for new debt, but bond rates, land prices and construction costs are particularly favorable, they said.
"As I analyze it, I feel like it's the best time," said Board President Bela J. "Buddy" Chain.
School officials hope to buy 80 to 100 acres for a new high school to accommodate 1,200 students. Under their plan, the current high school on Bramlett Boulevard would become the junior high, but existing athletic facilities would continue to be used for high-school athletes. Other schools would also be renovated and expanded.
People concerned about the $30 million price tag suggested moves from buying land around the 32-acre OHS campus to building upward - both of which board members had rejected as impractical in their marathon meeting schedule over the past year. Parking is at a premium on the campus, and the present structure will not support a second story.
Others suggested the plans were not ambitious enough, but board member Marion Barksdale said the $30 million figure conserves some ability to borrow in a disaster.
"It's wise not to be at our bond capacity," she said.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.