(STEWARTSVILLE, Mo.) Stewartsville C-2 School District voters approved a $1.1 million no-tax-levy-increase on April 3, 2018.
Known as Proposition Cardinals, the plan will add a new wing to Stewartsville K-12 school and it would update the existing buildings.
The bond issue is a no-tax bond, meaning there is no tax increase for voters. According to the ballot language, the bond issue does not increase the district’s current debt service property tax levy, which will remain unchanged at $0.5015. Instead, the bond is extended for 13 years.
During previous interviews, Stewartsville superintendent Jay Albright said teachers drove the initiative.
“I submitted to the staff a school improvement survey and they had a chance to sound off from a teacher’s perspective--somebody that is in the building every single day, from the inside of their classroom out-- about what they would like to see,” Albright said. “A resounding theme was updating our elementary classrooms.
He said the School Board deserves a lot of credit for running with the idea.
“We have an amazing school board and they quickly shifted their focus and have been working with us since last Spring,” Albright said.
Elementary special education teacher Dee Flint said the response by school officials was a huge morale booster for teachers.
“When we all said this is an area of our school that really needs some attention, they did a complete 180,” Flint said. “For the staff, that really made a big impression on us.”
Improvements and upgrades
According to the initiative’s official ballot language the funds will be used, “... for the construction, equipping and furnishing of an elementary wing expansion; to the extent funds are available, complete other repairs and improvements to the existing facilities of the District.”
Albright said, one of the top items is an elementary wing expansion.
“Our upper elementary is a metal building that was built about 50 years ago and it’s showing some wear and tear,” he said.
Elementary students said their building is a cold and noisy place in the winter. Fifth grader, Collin Lundy said sometimes it’s so cold he wears a coat to class.
"Upstairs they have heating but down here it's just a metal building so it's just really cool because the metal gets cold," Lundy said.
Another student said the metal building rattles loudly when the wind blows.
“It gets loud whenever it’s banging,” sixth grader Lexi Gann said.
Albright said the elementary classrooms would move into the new wing addition which would solve noise and heating issues.
Other improvements include renovating the current elementary building to house a new nurse’s office, a weight room, and moving the art room to make it wheelchair accessible.
Albright said the estimated project is $1.1 million but he said if the school pays the loan off early, they could save taxpayers $20,000 in interest.
“We’re in a position that we have feel comfortable that every two to three years we would hopefully be able to pre-pay a year,” Albright said. “So, what the 13-year extension could hopefully be paid off in 10 years.”
The proposition passed by a 281- 54 approval, according to results on the DeKalb County website.