Progress on capital improvements across the district, Kirkland Activity Complex and new PAC marquee
Preparation for the new Kirkland Activities Complex begins
Plans are underway to begin the first phase of the Kirkland Activity Complex, a project made possible by the 2015 bond issue. Phase I includes repurposing the former stadium into a soccer complex as well as renovating the existing gym and auditorium.
In December, the Board of Education approved GH2 Architects to design the new complex. In January, the bleachers at the stadium were sold through a bidding process and those will be removed in February. Programming and development of the master plan for the repurposed campus will also begin in February. The classroom buildings, which could not be repurposed due to extensive structural, environmental and safety issues, will be removed this fall. Phase I construction will begin soon after.
The district has paid special attention to the historical significance of this site and preserving its rich heritage. Originally Haskell College, the property was given to Broken Arrow Public Schools in 1920. The site eventually became the district’s high school until 1985 and it was then used as North Intermediate High School until 2014. Now, the property will remain a cornerstone of the community as it is transformed into a state of the art activities complex serving Broken Arrow Public Schools students and patrons.
Last summer, alumni bid farewell to the former high school and intermediate at a pep rally to commemorate the historic site and celebrate its future. The mosaic tiger located in the lobby of the former North Intermediate was removed and it, along with other significant memorabilia, will be preserved and incorporated into the new site.
Within the next few months, motorists driving down Main Street, Broken Arrow, will notice an updated, digital marquee at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) and Education Service Center. This new marquee is part of the PAC update project made possible by the 2009 bond issue and will better showcase district initiatives and events with graphics, animation and photos.
“The BAPAC was built in 2009, which is when the marquee was installed,” said Bob Tolomeo, Broken Arrow Public Schools director of construction. “The sign has since then surpassed its life expectancy and become outdated, due to constant technological updates.”
In addition to the marquee, patrons will see other improvements at the BAPAC, including a hydraulic orchestra pit lift and additional practice spaces for performers.
In 2009, Broken Arrow citizens passed a $295 million bond issue to help fund major capital improvements across the district, which included eliminating all modular buildings, securing school entrances, building additional school sites and various other projects.
“Bond funds are kept separate from operating funds. Operating funds can be used for salaries and benefits, while bond funds can only be utilized for capital improvement projects,” said Tolomeo. “One of the line items on the 2009 bond issue was allocating funds for performing arts center updates.”
BAPAC Executive Director Mark Frie believes the new marquee will increase community, student and staff awareness because of its ability to showcase more content.
“This venue provides a stage for talented fine arts students, district events, student activities and world-class performers, so we hope this new sign will help inform the entire Broken Arrow community about all the great things happening at Broken Arrow Public Schools,” he said.