“The Altus Board of Education, administrators, and staff would like to thank the citizens of Altus for their continued efforts to improve our city and our schools,” said school superintendent Bob Drury. “Our schools reflect the tradition and pride of our community, and the overwhelming support of MAPS shows that citizens of Altus understand the importance of maintaining our schools, improving city structures, and preparing for the future of our city through economic development efforts,” he said.
The city/school combined sales tax issue is a first for Altus and also reflects the first time Altus Public Schools has received additional local funding for school construction in over 50 years.
The school district should receive the “MAPS for Altus” funds sometime this school year, after the bonds for the sales tax issue have been sold. The district’s $17 million share of the tax will be used to pay for the modernization of Altus High School. District officials will be meeting over the next few months with Boynton Williams and Associates, the architectural firm selected for the project, to finalize the plans for the construction and remodel project. They hope to have the architectural and engineering plans finalized and the bids for the project received by June of 2009, so that the construction of the new classroom wing can begin next summer. The entire project is estimated to be complete by the summer of 2012.
The Altus High School renovation plans call for retaining the exterior walls of the circa 1930 building, while gutting the building and reconfiguring the floor plan, which will include a two-story commons area and meeting room with a stage. All the windows will be replaced, and a new roof and new heating and air conditioning units will be installed. The high school library/media center, now in the city’s Hightower Park across the street, will be moved to the renovated portion of the building. New classrooms will run north-south behind the existing building with a center atrium between the old construction and portions of the new.