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Board Report - March 8


Posted Date: 03/09/2021

Board Report - March 8

 Board Reports

Firm Selected to Design New Freshman Academy Golf Facility

The Board of Education approved an agreement with Heckenkemper Golf Course Design to pay $66,413 for architectural design services related to the Freshman Academy Golf Facility project.

The agreement will allow for the design and creation of construction documents to provide a golf practice facility at the Union High School Freshman Academy, explained Fred Isaacs, director of Construction Services. The proposed budget for the project is $700,000.00.

“In the Freshman Academy, the existing wrestling weight room and locker facility are areas we are looking at renovating to create the indoor practice facility,” Isaacs said. “The plan also includes the creation of an outdoor golf pitching area at the southwest corner of the Freshman Academy grounds, where the old ropes course area was.”

Working with Union Staff and golf coaches, HGCD will provide options to best convert the former wrestling room into a golf practice facility.  The firm will also design a flexible, multi-use outdoor practice facility using artificial and natural turf. In addition, HGDC will provide an overall master plan inclusive of both the indoor and outdoor areas that may be completed in subsequent phases.

Key components may include but are not limited to:

Indoor

  • Full-swing netted bays
  • A simulator bay with game improvement technology; and
  • Artificial turf putting and chipping green.

Outdoor

  • Artificial turf chipping green
  • Sand bunker
  • Artificial and natural grass tee line
  • Target greens (can be artificial or natural grass)
  • Contouring to simulate typical golf course shaping
  • Irrigation for designated practice area; and
  • Perimeter fencing.

Board Moves Forward With Issuance of Bonds

The Board of Education approved a request to receive sealed bids for the purchase of $26 million in building bonds and vote to award the lowest bidder the sale. According to Chief Financial Officer Trish Williams, seven bids were received, with BNY Mellon awarded the sale, with an interest rate of 0.55 percent. Despite challenges related to the pandemic, Union was able to maintain the AA+ bond rating by Standard & Poor’s, which is the highest rating of any school district in Oklahoma. The Board also approved a resolution for the issuance of the bonds. 

The bond represents Year 4 of 5 of the package related to 2018’s historic $128.6 million five-year bond. For updates on Union’s bond projects, visit https://www.unionps.org/bondprogress-2021.

In other action, the Board:

  • Accepted the annual update from on Union’s professional development’s plan for the 2020-2021 year, which sets aside dates and programs for professional learning opportunities for certified staff. Lisa Witcher, senior executive director of Instructional Services, said the district is in the final year of a $4 million literacy grant. “Chastity Gray, director of professional learning, has been tireless in leading us through this process,” said Witcher. “It has really moved the needle on the district’s literacy efforts.” 
  • Revised Board Policy 1700 regarding trademarks and trade names, removing references to Union’s previous mascot.
  • Approved an emergency declaration related to water line breaks caused by the freeze in February. Breaks occurred at some of Union’s facilities, including the High School and the Enrollment Center. Because of the damage, enrollment services are being temporarily conducted at the Education Service center until further notice.
    Associate Superintendent Charlie Bushyhead said, “In order to proceed to limit the amount of water damage caused by numerous water line breaks, a declaration of emergency must occur. Blackmon Mooring Restoration Service was requested by our insurance representative to assess the damage. The water damage occurred at several sites over several dates due to extremely low freezing temperatures for an extended period of time. The total cost is not known at this time.”

Superintendent Thanks Board Member Jeff Bennett

Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler recognized Board Member Jeff Bennett for 15 years of service representing Zone 1. 

“I wanted to take a moment to recognize Mr. Bennett, as this is his last board meeting,” said Hartzler. “You are the longest standing board member we have had for quite some time. Jeff has an amazing history with the district, starting with Grove, when his son attended there. We appreciate your service and tenure on the board.  You have left an indelible mark. Fifteen years as a board member is truly remarkable, so thank you.”

Bennett’s response was an emotional one: “We are in a special, special place. Every dollar we spend is in the best interest of our kids.  We have the best facilities we can, as that makes students want to come to Union.”

 

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Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
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Phone: 918-357-4321

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