On Tuesday March 5th, 2013 the Durant ISD school bond will be in the hands of the voters. The bond consists of planned improvements to technology and instruction, the Fine Arts Program, district transportation and maintenance, and new construction and renovations.
One particular thing of interest is under the District New Construction and Renovations: a new Multi-Purpose Facility.
Oklahoma weather can be tricky to plan practice around and Durant head football coach Byron Cordell believes that an indoor facility will greatly reduce the “competitive disadvantage” that Durant sports have right now.
“Our spring sports are at a competitive disadvantage with kids in Ada, Ardmore and McAlester. They have indoor facilities that they are able to use.” said Cordell, “Baseball can use it for hitting, track can use it, the golf team can use it, just about every spring sport and the band.” The band currently holds practice outside in the parking lot.
“Other schools can go take batting practice and ground balls. That’s what they do at Denison with their indoor facility.” said Cordell, “They have the soccer team in there practicing, all their kids are able to use it. But here, if it’s bad weather, our track team has to run up and down the halls of the school. Soccer can’t practice, baseball can’t take ground balls. They aren’t able to do anything at all.”
During the hot months of the year, football two-a-day practice can be reduced to one-a-day or not-at-all.
“A few years ago when it was so hot, we held practice at 6 a.m. and would be done by 8 a.m. before it got into the 90’s. We were able to get in one practice.” said Cordell, “McAlester was our first oppenent and they practice in the morning and when it got hot they moved practice to their indoor facility. They got two practices a day and we got one, which put us at disadvantage going into our season opener.”
But does this mean a tax increase for citizens of Durant?
“It’s a continuation of a previous bond, it’s not going to raise anybody’s taxes.” said Cordell, “Durant has a great history of passing bonds, while other places can not.”
The price tag for the Multi-Purpose Facility is $1.5 million.
“This is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Cordell, “The biggest change it will make is how it will help all of our kids.”