Artist’s rendering of proposed Grove High School Building

GROVE, Okla. — Overcrowding issues are prompting Grove school leaders to seek an $87.2 million bond issue in April to build a new high school.

“Additional classrooms were added to our high school in 2011, but it was only a band-aid to our problem,” said Superintendent Pat Dobson.

Grove is classified as a 5A school with five campuses with a student population of approximately 2,500 students, 180 faculty members, and 134 support staff members. 

Faced with overcrowding issues at all five campuses, Dodson is seeking a bond issue on the April ballot in an effort to ease the school’s growing pains.

The new bond will be sold in nine, two-year issues. Property owners will see their taxes raise $71.74 annually or $5.98 monthly for every $1,000, he said.

The Performing Arts Center bond should be completed in June 2025.

“There are other needs at the school, but a new high school is our most immediate need,” Dodson said. “We plan to conduct a strategic long-range facilities plan to address other future needs throughout the district.” 

The overcrowding starts at the Early Childhood Center which is at 104% capacity. The building has over 313 pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first graders in a building built for 302 students, Dodson said.

The high school is at 96% capacity with 790 students.

“When the high school was built in 2000 it was projected for 650 students,” Dodson said. “With the addition of the classrooms in 2011 the building is capable of holding 821 students.”

The lower elementary campus is at 72% capacity, the upper elementary campus is at 87% capacity and the middle school is at 72% capacity. 

“With the new high school and transitioning the middle school to a junior high school, it would ease the student population at the other campuses,” Dodson said.

Grades 10 through 12 would be at the new high school, grades seventh through ninth would be located in the present high school, fifth and sixth grades would be housed at the current middle school campus, and third and fourth grades would be located at the current upper elementary campus, grades first and second would be in the current lower elementary building and pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes would be located in the Early Childhood Center campus. 

“We want to market Grove schools as the ‘School of Choice,’ for this area, ” Dodson said. “Our current enrollment is growing faster than we expected because so many families want their students to attend Grove schools.”

Parents who move to Grand Lake and families who are seeing the fifth generation of the family tree attend Grove Schools want the best music, arts, sports and academic programs for their children.

“That’s a promise the school district wants to deliver to the community,” Dodson said.

A recent change in state legislation allows any student anywhere in the state to transfer to any school in the state, he said.

“We have students from area schools that want to move to Grove,” Dodson said.  “We also want to have a school that keeps the brightest and best students right here in Grove.”

The proposed high school building would be constructed northeast of the Performing Arts Center.

Construction is expected last 24 months.