When Toni Kilgore first came to Luff Elementary five years ago, there were only 300 students.

When Toni Kilgore first came to Luff Elementary five years ago, there were only 300 students.

Now, there is close to 460 students in the 50-year facility.

“Luff has always been a cozy little school nestled in the middle of a quiet neighborhood,” she said. “But we are tight in terms of space. We need more room.”

If an $85 million bond issue is approved by voters Tuesday, renovations and additions would be done at almost every elementary school in the Independence School District.

Among the renovations at the elementary level are a four-classroom addition at Thomas Hart Benton and Luff elementary schools as well as two-classroom addition at Mill Creek.

The additions would help with overcrowding at each of the facilities. Many of the other school facilities would see renovations to classrooms as well as exterior repairs to parking lots and sidewalks.

See a complete list of school-by-school renovations on Page A10.


Another project that is just as needed, but not as readily seen as renovations to the elementary schools is the upgrading of the district’s technology system.

Bond funds would be used to increase the district’s one fiber-optic line to six. The lines are responsible for the Internet access, telephone system and almost all other electronic communication among buildings.

Superintendent Jim Hinson said a good example of how inefficient the one fiber-optic line actually is, was when public controversy erupted in the Independence School District over showing a speech from President Barack Obama in September. He said even if the district had decided to show the speech, it would not have mattered because the technology capabilities were not there.

“We simply did not have the technology capability for everyone to see it (the speech) anyway,” said Superintendent Jim Hinson. “Right now, if a fiber-optic line is cut at one building, every other building down that line is affected. But with new technology upgrades, we would build redundancy and every building in our district would be impacted.”

For more information on the Independence School District bond issue, visit the district’s Web site at www.indep.k12.mo.us and choose the “2009 bond issue” tab.