Two Blue Springs School District questions on Tuesday’s ballot passed easily. Question 1, a $99 million bond to remodel and expand various school buildings, passed with 78.9 percent of the vote (15,958 votes).
Question 2, which will increase the district’s operating property tax levy by 40 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, passed with 63.1 percent (12,726 votes).
Neither initiative will raise taxes for residents.
The levy increase – to be offset by an equivalent decrease in the debt levy – will result in class-size reductions, new staff hires and increased staff salaries. Board of Education President Kay Cohen said the district’s Blueprint Community, a group of teachers and other staff, will begin discussing raises this fall.
“We need to stay abreast of the changes in education, keep our students and our teachers safe and provide opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible without this bill,” Cohen stated.
The bond will fund $99 million in improvements to various district schools, with a $55 million focus on Blue Springs High School and Blue Springs South High School. According to Cohen, the district hopes to have all projects completed within the next two years.
Planned projects for Blue Springs South High School include the construction of a freshman wing, addition of a small theater and a third gym. Voters can also expect updates to outdoor all-weather services and the performing arts center.
Blue Springs High School will get a new library, a new band classroom and a third gym. The district will also prioritize updates to all-weather services and enclosure of the campus, which will connect its multiple buildings.
In addition to these major updates, several elementary schools will see the addition of restrooms, storm-proof multipurpose rooms and library enclosures.
Lastly, the bond will emphasize safety, with enhancements such as exterior and interior glass, universal door security and surveillance expansion outlined for all buildings.
“We are elated by the support of our community. This is the 26th consecutive bond issue that has been approved by voters within the Blue Springs School District,” Superintendent Paul Kinder said. “Our district and community is a unique and special place to be.”