Fort Osage School District voters approve $20 million in bonds

By Mike Genet
The Examiner

Voters in the Fort Osage School District decisively approved $20 million in bonds and a levy transfer Tuesday, neither of which increase the district’s tax levy. 

The bonds will pay to renovate kitchens across the district and construct a new building for district administration, transportation and maintenance offices on the east edge of the district campus off U.S. 24.

The 32-cent levy transfer, spread over three years, will pay for a new high school gymnasium and expand the band room for a program that has boomed in recent years.

Voters approved the bonds at 77.7 percent – 1,348 yes votes to 396 no votes. It needed 57.1 percent approval to pass

The levy transfer received 69.4 percent approval – 1,200 yes votes to 530 no’s.

With Tuesday’s votes, the district’s overall tax levy will remain the same at $6.37 per $100 of assessed valuation.

More:Independence School District's requested upgrades approved

“I couldn’t be more pleased from the results tonight; truly overwhelming support,” Superintendent Jason Snodgrass said. “We’re going to begin tomorrow with the design phase for the new (office) building; that will be the first project.”

That new building will be just east of Fire Prairie Elementary and the Lewis & Clark Academy. The current buildings would be demolished after the new one is finished, making room for new parking to replace what will be lost with the new main high school gymnasium

When the current gym was built in 1967, the high school had 660 students, Snodgrass said. Now, it has about 1,500, and the locker rooms and trainer rooms are also too cramped.

More:Blue Springs voters approve sales tax, plans for aquatic center, new parks in place

While the new gym is under construction, the district will also expand the band room, accommodating a program that has about doubled in size over the past 10 years and far exceeds its available space.

The kitchen renovations will happen in the summer of 2022, Snodgrass said, as it’s too close to summer this year to get designs and contracts turned around in time.

BOARD OF EDUCATION: Voters also Tuesday re-elected Board of Education President Floyd Hawkins and voted Christopher Gross to an open seat on the board.

Hawkins garnered 1,220 votes, Gross 893 and Kyle Leeds 618.