Feb. 22, 2019 – The Excelsior Springs School District hopes Proposition A will allow them to build new schools and make improvements throughout Excelsior.

Jaret Tomlinson, deputy superintendent, said he thinks it will be a modest increase for the amount of work that will be completed.

“We’re talking about a new elementary building right now, another new elementary building in a couple of years (and) a new early childhood center to extend that program,” he said.

The bond will also allow the district to perform needed maintenance on existing buildings, he said, not allowing them to deteriorate.

“If you do a comparison for what people can get what for their money, I think this option gives them the most bang for their buck,” he said.

According to information provided by ESSD, Excelsior Springs’ current district tax rate stands at 5.1272. If Prop A passes, it will increase to 5.3172.

To figure their potential rise in property taxes, homeowners need to multiply the market value of their residential property by the assessment ratio to learn their accessed value. Excelsior’s residential assessment values currently stand at 19 percent. For a house valued at $100,000, that would equal 19,000 of assessed value.

Officials calculate tax values per $100 of assessed value or 19,000 divided by 100, which equals 190 in this example.

Multiply that value by the 0.19 proposed tax increase to determine the yearly increase. In this example, 190 multiplied by 0.19 equals a $36.10 per year increase.

According to the 2018 district tax rates provided by the school district, Excelsior currently stays close to the bottom of the area’s tax rates. Liberty’s tax rate of 6.815 places them at the top, followed by North Kansas City, 6.558, Raytown, 6.32, Smithville, 5.8503, Platte County, 5.7699, Kearney, 5.3506 and Richmond, 5.2466. Cameron rounds out the list at 4.5673, below Excelsior’s current rate of 5.1272.

If Prop A were to pass, it would place Excelsior Springs between Kearney and Richmond at 5.3172.

If Prop A passes, work will begin with a remodel of Elkhorn Elementary’s cafeteria, with more remodels of the school to follow later. The high school commons will be remodeled and work would be done to the middle school’s exterior and egress.

Phase one will continue with the construction of a new Westview Elementary School building on the district’s vacant land located on the corner of Wornall Road and Lodwick Lane.

Patrick Smith, project manager with insight Design Studio, presented an update to the school board Monday, Feb. 11, showing the board how the outside of a new Westview Elementary could appear. He said because the land drops off, the bi-level school would stay in the northeast corner of the site.

“We’re trying to disrupt as little as possible from the trees that kind of run through the middle of the site, from east to the west there and any of the trees that are on the west side of the site as well,” he said.

Students would enter on the main level, he said, and walk down to the lower level. Kindergarten-second grade classrooms would be located on one level, with third-fifth grades on the other.

Smith said the building would provide flexibility for growth in the school’s student population.

He said the cafeteria would be located on the lower level with an opening that enters into the music room. This will allow presentations to be made on a small stage located in the same space. Smith said a media room would be located in the space directly above the cafeteria. Activities and the gym would be located on the lower level.

Plans keep parking in front of the building to a minimum with a large parking lot on the south of the building. The entrance from the main parking lot would be on the lower level of the building, he said.

The bus loop will be on the east of the building. Discussion continues on where the buses will travel as they exit the loop, but Smith said at this time, they would travel from the building going south.

Phase one will continue with renovations and an expansion, complete with a storm shelter, at Elkhorn Elementary. Aaron Harte with insight Design Studios said in a community forum all new buildings and renovations will include a storm shelter to provide for the safety of the students and staff. 

The Summer of 2019 will include improvements to the middle school’s interior. 

Later in Phase one, the back hallways of the current Westview will be removed and improvements will be made to the building. The Early Childhood Center will then move to the existing building.

Phase two will include the building of a new Lewis Elementary School building and the possibility of the building of a new auxiliary gym for the high school and middle schools that will double as a storm shelter.

Tomlinson said the proposition could mean great things for the community.

“I think it comes down to what kind of community do you want to live in,” he said. “What type of opportunities do you want for children of your community?”

Proposition A will be on the ballot at the election to be held on April 2.

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