Proposition A supporters hope the bond issue would not only provide improvements to the school district but also bring improvements to the Excelsior Springs community as a whole.
Jaret Tomlinson, deputy superintendent, said the improvements will help improve the community for those without school-aged children as well.
“You benefit by living in a place where the public school has created a network of concerned community members and an educated populace,” he said. “Public schools attract home buyers which increases property values, raises commerce and allows for more civic engagement and community activities. But most of all, as Americans, we have a responsibility to ensure every child has the right to a free and receive an appropriate public education.”
According to information provided by the school district, work will begin with the demolition of The Monterey Motel in April. Site improvements to the property will continue through the summer.
If the bond passes, improvements to the district will begin immediately.
The Excelsior Springs High School will receive updates to the commons area leading from the gymnasium through the cafeteria.
The middle school will also see some updates on their HVAC, painting and signage.
During the summer, work will also begin on the new Westview Elementary school to be located on the district’s property on Wornall and Lodwick. After the completion of the new building, the back hallways of the existing Westview will be demolished.
The school district plans to move the Early Childhood Center to the old Westview building at that time.
Elkhorn Elementary school will also receive updates to their cafeteria, windows and classrooms on the east side of the building. Elkhorn’s work would begin immediately but be staged in projects over the next two years.
Tomlinson said in approximately 3-4 years, the district will place a no tax increase measure on the ballot to authorize the purchase of bonds to build a new Lewis Elementary school.
“The taxes wouldn’t go up (at that time) because the $0.19 increase on April 2 would be enough to pay for everything in the plan,” he said.
According to information provided by ESSD, Excelsior Springs’ 2018 district tax rate stands at 5.1272. If Prop A passes, it will increase to 5.3172.
To figure the potential rise in property taxes, homeowners can multiply the market value of their residential property by the assessment ratio to learn their assessed value.
Excelsior’s residential assessment values currently stand at 19 percent. For a property valued at $100,000, that would equal $19,000 of assessed value.
Officials calculate tax values per $100 of assessed value. In this example, divide $19,000 by 100, which equals $190.
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.
Patrick Smith, project manager with insight Design Studio, presented an update to the school board in February, 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.
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.
The plans would keep parking in front of the building to a minimum and 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.
Proposition A will be on the ballot during the April 2 election.