CUSHING, TX (KTRE) - This morning a pep rally of sorts was held for Cushing's future generations. They know they're getting a "new school," yelled out one small child.
Specifically a new elementary school. The ceremonial dirt was turned following the $10.6 million school bond issue approved by voters in May.
"And we applaud everyone who took part in that," Michael Davis, superintendent said before the entire school and special guests. Applauds broke out across the building sight of the new building.
"We are going to build three classrooms per grade to accommodate future growth," Davis said. The 65,000 square foot school will be modern. "It was a smarter decision to build a new facility, rather than try to renovate our existing school that was built in the 1950's," Davis explained.
The existing school is literally cracking from foundation problems. A wooden roof, combined with dated electrical connections, create safety concerns. Teachers have wires protruding through ceilings and across rooms because there are no modern connections for computers and other technological teaching devices.
"We are the best," Cushing cheerleaders chant. Indeed, Cushing has even more to cheer about. It has a cash reserve large enough to build a sports complex, now under construction, renovate the football stadium and build a band hall and two new science labs.
"We're spending the majority, probably 75% of all the money the school district has, both the bond money and our reserve, strictly on academics," Marlin Reeves, school board president said.
Cushing drips in oil and gas revenue. Then a proposed biomass plant has agreed to pay the district $600,000 a year for the next 20 years, adding up to a little over $11-million.
State school finance laws mandate CISD to send a substantial amount of tax money back to the state to be distributed evenly among poorer districts. Administration is pleased the revenue from the biomass plant will stay put. Another state provision protects the funding because it is an environmentally protected industry.
The money can be used to keep the schools up with the times. New Smart Boards prove the district won't let an old building get in the way of progress. School faculty is just anxious for the day when the new technology is placed in a new building.