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Ballard's Pledge

Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools Keith Ballard pledges priority for Will Rogers

Keith Ballard, Ed.D., then superintendent, Tulsa Public Schools, pledges priority support for Will Rogers High School during the school's Hall of Fame induction ceremony on November 4, 2013. He referred to "Project Schoolhouse," which was the school district's challenge to reduce the number of schools because of the decline in enrollment due to suburb growth, and the reasons Will Rogers was singled out for a "return to its greatness." He mentions that he had been asked to defer his retirement for another year. Not mentioned was that the district wanted him to lead another school bond campaign. Among the projects included in that bond issue, which was approved, is a multi-purpose stadium for Will Rogers, to be located on the west side of the building where the football practice field is located. The original concept was to take over adjacent Turner Park from the City of Tulsa and include a natatorium, which would be made available during summers for community access. The natatorium was later removed from the proposal. He discussed the stadium that evening with Dave Rader, former head football coach at the University of Tulsa, who served as chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and introduced him.