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Dr. Deighan's Weekly Article - January 15. 2020

School Bond Time Warp

Dreams of Our Children

January 15, 2021

School time operates independently of the space-time continuum. In fact, I am convinced that Einstein developed his theory of relativity while staring at the clock on the wall during school. Some classes whizzed by while others slowed to a crawl. He called his daydreams “thought experiments,” which is how he determined that space and time are malleable. And since researchers eventually proved that clocks move faster the higher they are off the ground due to the effect of gravity, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t always moving clocks up the wall in classes that bored him. I wonder if the few seconds gained every 3 billion years was worth any detention he might have received.

Likewise, school projects suffer from time warps, especially bond projects. The Board began planning for a bond years ago. We formulated the details over a year ago, and right before our election, COVID stopped the clock. Finally, in August, Duncan voters approved nearly $28 million, but then time stopped again as we waited for all the paperwork and regulatory steps to receive the funding. We have all been stuck in detention with young Einstein, daydreaming of gravitational waves and roomy restrooms during soccer games.

Thankfully, our funds arrived right before Christmas, so we can finally start, focusing on showing you a quick return on your investment in the next year. The architect updated the Board of Education this Tuesday, and design has started on the auditorium, Halliburton Stadium improvements, safe rooms, softball parking, and even the Duncan Middle School roof. One of the first things we plan to address is the ADA access to Halliburton stadium, so everyone can safely and comfortably celebrate the class of 2021 from the stands. (God willing, of course!)

We are starting over regarding our effort to relocate transportation, but to ensure we do not delay the new locker rooms and safe rooms at the field, our biggest project, we are prepared to use a temporary location. This illustrates the interconnectedness of all the 2020 bond projects. The softball parking lot, for example, may help facilitate the construction of the baseball/softball batting cages as well as a new locker room for tennis. One of the high school safe rooms will hopefully be used as an extra practice stage for our fine arts program. LED light upgrades will need to be coordinated to ensure uniformity among the new projects and older facilities.  Likewise, roofing, fencing, and HVAC decisions can be maximized when coordinated on a district-wide scale. We will be interviewing construction managers at-risk (CMAR) in the coming weeks to determine if they can help us get this accomplished most efficiently. We have to set up all the dominoes before we can really get started, or we will waste valuable time and resources.

Equipment and technology selections can also begin now that we have the funds. Teacher computers are probably the first thing on the list. We also hope to decide soon regarding VOIP phone systems for all classrooms and card entry systems (at DHS first), both of which are security issues.  On top of this, we have textbooks and vehicles and buses to buy!  For those of you who started this process years ago, I know it may seem like time has stood still, but this clock finally starts ticking this semester. Now that funds are finally available, time will move very fast, like getting out of detention. Of course, nothing will happen without our board’s guidance and the involvement of staff and parents. Our Bond Oversight Committee will also help keep us on track.

School time can sometimes drag, but it can also fly by like during recess. We are working for the quickest possible return on your investment in Duncan Public Schools, and the clock restarts now! Our long wait at the red light is about to Doppler shift to green, which should excite all of our Einstein’s, young and old, who have been watching this clock for so long. Thank you all for trusting us with this opportunity.

By grace, 

Tom Deighan

Superintendent

Duncan Public Schools

Public educators welcome all . . . serve all . . . love all.