Message from Union Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler
Dear Union Patrons,
“Our Kids Are Worthy.” That was the Tulsa World headline in January 2020 when we began the demolition of Union Tuttle Stadium’s west side in preparation for the improvements we now enjoy. Not only is the new stadium more accessible, but we also added a new wrestling and weight room, two concession stands, a press box and improved amenities. At the High School, we also added space for volleyball. Then, we capped off the project with the band building at the stadium’s north end. When challenged to explain why a school district would go to such lengths, I said, “because our kids are worthy.”
Five years ago, we went out on a limb when we embarked on the district’s first five-year general obligation bond. That was daring for Union, as we had previously done only annual bond elections. Our Board of Education, however, saw the wisdom in minimizing risk to completing projects. What a great decision that turned out to be! No one could have anticipated the magnitude of the disruption due to the pandemic although our investment in 1-to-1 (“one computer device for every student”) proved almost prophetic.
We come to you again with a host of new projects as we seek approval of a $152 million, five-year series bond. As before, this bond will not raise taxes above traditional levels. Among the signature projects is a plan that would significantly transform Union’s 6th/7th Grade Center. Over the last few years, we have had concerns about elementary students’ transition to the secondary environment.
Now is the time, we believe, to alter the sixth grade setting to more closely align with elementary by creating smaller learning communities. We also plan to add more restrooms, cafeteria and gym space as we seek to compress lunchtime and improve traffic flow. Ultimately, we envision a more student-friendly 6h Grade Center on the east side of the building, with the 7th Grade Center on the west, and a building that is more conducive to a 21st century learning environment. (See the full details inside this bond section or download a PDF of The Communicator.)
Other key projects include ongoing investments in technology, safety and security, as well as upgrades to athletic and fine arts facilities to include the UMAC, the Performing Arts Center and turf and courts districtwide for soccer, tennis, golf and indoor baseball/softball. There is also a significant need districtwide for roof and HVAC systems, interior and exterior building renovations, as well as textbooks, digital curriculum, instructional resources, and transportation needs.
The list of needs is extensive and greatly exceeds the budget available to do them. But with your commitment, passage of this bond will go a long way toward giving our students and teachers the tools they need to be successful.
I think you will agree: Union’s physical structures are second to none, and for that we make no apology. All these public investments are more than dollars spent just on bricks and mortar, computers and technology licenses. In choosing to support Union’s bond initiatives, you are investing in our children’s future. Students, “U Are Worthy.”
Please remember to vote on Tuesday, February 14!
Union Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler
Two Propositions On The Ballot
Union’s bond proposal includes two propositions for capital improvements, repairs and purchase of school buses.
Proposition I asks voters to consider approval of $146,540,000 to provide funds for the purpose of constructing, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment and acquiring and improving school sites. Within this proposition, $51.6 million would be set aside for a major redesign of the Union 6th/7th Grade Center.
Proposition II asks voters to consider approval of $5.46 million for the purchase of vehicles, including regular student route buses.
Under state law, a supermajority of 60 percent approval of the voters is required for passage of EACH proposition.
5-Year Series Bond (2023 – 2027)
$152-Million Proposal at a Glance*
|6th/7th Grade Center Renovation and Expansion Project and FF&E||$51,600,000|
|District Athletics and Fine Arts Facility Upgrades||$5,775,000|
|District Exterior and Interior Renovations (includes utility systems and equipment, playgrounds, flooring
painting, windows, doors, millwork, lighting and FF&E)
|District Roof Replacements||$10,600,000|
District HVAC Systems Replacements
District Equipment and Other Improvements (includes security items, safety upgrades, fencing, paving,
|Textbooks, Digital Curriculum, Software, Subscriptions and Instructional Resources||$15,500,000|
Site and Department Allocations
Transportation – Buses
Transportation – Vehicles
Fees, Professional Services, and Contingency
|5-YEAR TOTAL OF BOTH PROPOSITIONS||$152,000,000|
*Note: The numbers presented in the table above are estimates. Passage WILL NOT increase taxes above traditional levels!