Banner School seeks new building

Voters to decide $6M bond proposal Aug. 23; housing growth prompts need to expand

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Banner Public School Superintendent Michael Prior says his K-8 school prides itself on keeping class sizes low. He encourages Banner district voters to cast ballots in the Tuesday, Aug. 23 bond election to avoid school overcrowding as student enrollment climbs. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

With housing growth across the district, Banner school officials want to construct a new building featuring eight classrooms, two multipurpose rooms and safe rooms.

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Voters in the K-8 Banner school district will cast ballots in a Tuesday, Aug. 23 election to fund these upgrades through a $6 million bond issue. The debt would be paid off over 10 years.

Banner School was founded in 1889 with eight students in a one-room schoolhouse.

Over the past six years, Banner’s student body has grown from 204 to 311.

“That is a 52% increase, and we are now at max capacity with no room for expansion in our current facilities,” Banner Public School (BPS) Superintendent Michael Prior said.

“We have to be proactive as our enrollment grows.”

Prior is in his fifth year leading Banner School, 2455 N Banner Road, as superintendent and head principal. Assistant principal is Samantha Smith.

Banner employs 32 teachers and 17 support staff who are preparing for the 2022-23 school year starting Thursday, Aug. 11.

Referring to Canadian County housing growth that’s “pushing this way,” Superintendent Prior anticipates enrollment increasing by another 50 students by the end of this school year.

That’s because of a new housing development off Jensen Road within the Banner school district.

Dirt work has started for 65 new homes in phase one with another possible 100-plus more homes in phase two.

“An additional 100 acres has been purchased between Richland and Frisco (roads) by Taber Homes with another neighborhood and a possible 100-plus new homes to be built,” Prior shared. “This could easily double our student enrollment in no time.”

All available space in the current Banner School building has been converted to classroom use.

“At Banner, we have always taken pride in keeping our class sizes small and attracting the ‘best of the best’ in our faculty,” Prior added. “It will be essential in keeping this tradition to add additional classroom space.”

Pending voter approval Aug. 23, the $6 million bond issue would fund a school addition on the west side of the Banner campus south of Interstate 40.

Construction is projected to start in April 2023 and the new-and-improved Banner School would be ready to open for the 2024-25 school year.

Lingo Construction would be construction manager for the expansion project. Owner Stan Lingo lives in the Banner school district.

MA+ Architecture has been selected as project architect.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Banner Public School building, which would be funded through a $6 million bond issue. Plans call for eight new classrooms, two multipurpose rooms and safe rooms. (Image provided)
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MILLAGE RATE, POLLING PLACES

BPS has one of the lowest mileage rates in this area at 3.56.

If approved in the upcoming election, the Banner bond issue will increase the millage rate to 16.31 for two years and then drop to 11.56 in year three when current bonds are paid off.

In comparison to surrounding districts, Yukon has a millage rate of 35.16 and Mustang has a millage rate of 27.62.

Superintendent Prior explained how the millage rate affects property taxes in the Banner school district.

“A person paying $1,000 per year on property taxes would have a monthly increase of $14.58,” he said. “We are encouraging our patrons to go vote on Aug. 23!”

These Canadian County polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 23 for Banner school bond election:

  • 100 – Canadian Valley Technology Center, 6505 E Hwy 66-El Reno
  • 114 – Canadian County Expo Center, 3001 Jensen Road E-El Reno
  • 201 – Richland Nazarene Church, 1025 N 6th St. in Richland-Yukon
  • 210 – Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave.-Yukon
  • 211 (299) – Family Church, 701 N Cemetery Road-Yukon
  • 213 – West Point Christian Church, 1600 S Richland Road-Yukon
  • 239 – Stable Rock Baptist Church, 1301 S Cemetery Road-Yukon
  • 308 – Lakehoma Church of Christ, 2124 W State Hwy 152-Mustang
  • 400 – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Hall, 407 Kate Boevers Ave.-Union City

The next Banner School Board meeting will be 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 in the school cafeteria.

Banner School’s board members are President Jessica Johnson, Vice President Adam Slattery and Clerk Colin Autin.

A “back-to-school night” is set 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 as students, parents, teachers, and staff get ready for the new school year.

Michael Prior is in his fifth year leading the Banner school district as superintendent and head principal. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Lingo Construction would serve as construction manager for the planned addition to Banner School, 2455 N Banner Road. Project architect is MA+ Architecture. Banner’s 3.56 millage rate is one of the lowest among area school districts. (Image provided)
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