DEARBORN, Mo. — The North Platte School District wants voters to consider the future when looking at a ballot measure in the upcoming April 4 general municipal election.
A no-tax-increase proposal would allow officials to work on capital improvement projects, including a proposed new junior high school at a cost of an estimated $4.5 million. A long range planning committee formed early in 2016 came up with a list of potential projects, and the board of education worked to prioritize them ahead of the upcoming election.
The school district held a pair of informational meetings in recent weeks, hoping to provide patrons with insight into the plans. The tax levy would not increase, but the debt service would be extended for 12 more years.
“We just tried to get the information the community was looking for,” North Platte superintendent Karl Matt said, “and as far as what the plans would be, how long it would take for the district — just get general information out there for the public and let them make the decision.”
In November, the North Platte board approved Incite Design Studio for architectural designs. The company brought a potential floor plan for a new junior high school in December, and the large project became the focal point of the district’s proposed plans.
Currently, North Platte Junior High is conjoined with North Platte High School. The junior high is actually the original high school and is the oldest building in the district.
Other projects listed on an informational brochure include high school roof repair/replacement ($375,000 estimate) and repairs/renovations and upgrades of the high school/junior high campus. In addition, the elementary school would receive foundation work, roof repairs/replacements and other renovations.
Both the high school and elementary school, located in Camden Point, Mo., would have HVAC upgrades.
Total cost of the projects is estimated at $6.65 million with the current tax rate expected to generate about $6.2 million over 12 years to go with close to another half million from a Missouri Department of Energy grant.
The district currently has a 99-cent levy in their debt services fund that is being used to pay off the projects that were voter approved in the fall of 2009, included the new North Platte Intermediate School. The current projects are expected to be paid for in full by 2025.
Currently, it is projected that if the same levy is extended an additional 12 years, it would generate an additional $6.2 million for capital projects.
“It has been a long process as far as getting the community and stakeholders involved with what they believe is important,” Matt said. “Bringing in Incite Design Studios and helped identify our needs and put out a long range plan.”
The board put forth the following ballot language in January for community members to vote on:
Shall the Board of Education of the North Platte R-1 School District, Missouri, without an estimated increase in the current debt service property tax levy, borrow money in the amount of Six Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($6,200,000) for the purpose of providing funds for the site development, construction, equipping and furnishing of a new Junior High Building; to repair and replace roofs, including a portion of the Elementary School roof; to the extent funds are available, complete other remodeling and repair improvements to the existing facilities of the District; and issue bonds for the payment thereof? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.9900 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.