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Monday, May 2, 2016

Marshall school board on the hunt again for new school

Monday, June 8, 2009

From left, Marshall School Board members Kathy Green, Sherrie Stouffer and Anita Wright listen to presentations from representatives of George K. Baum & Company and the architectural firm of Frangkiser Hutchens at a meeting Monday, June 8.
(Kathy Fairchild/Democrat-News)
If you have 15 to 20 acres of land in the Marshall School District that you think would be suitable as the site for a new elementary school, Superintendent Craig Noah would like to hear from you by Friday, June 19.

Buoyed by good news from financial consultants about stimulus funds but dissatisfied with the six sites considered in the failed 2003 attempt to pass a bond issue, board members would like to consider other sites.

Members of the school board met Monday, June 8, to talk about placing another school bond issue on the ballot for November 2009.

"Money has never been cheaper to borrow -- ever -- than it is right now."

With that statement as an opener, Richard G. Bartow, executive vice president of George K. Baum & Company, kicked off his two-hour presentation on the need for the district to pursue voter approval of a school bond issue as soon as possible.

Bartow was one of a team of four consultants to make the case for another attempt at getting voters to agree to construction of a new elementary school at Monday's meeting.

Board members Larry Godsey, Kathy Green, Sherrie Stouffer, Anita Wright and Cindy Brandt were on hand for the meeting.

A one-time change by the Missouri legislature allowing special bond elections in November 2009, with only a 4/7 majority instead of the normal 2/3 requirement, combined with the availability of Qualified School Construction Bonds and Build American Bonds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, presents an opportunity for public schools that, Bartow emphasized, may never come again.

QSCBs, unlike most other school-issued bonds, are zero-interest bonds. The school district pays no interest to the buyer. Instead, the buyer receives Federal tax credits equal to the interest that would have been paid.

BABs are taxable and not interest-free, but a portion of the interest paid on BABs takes the form of a Federal tax credit. And where QSCBs must be used for construction, rehabilitation, or repair of public school facilities, or to purchase land for the project, BABs can also be used for leases. And, importantly, the tax credit can be delivered to the school district, instead of the bondholder.

Bartow said BABs have been "well received in the marketplace."

Both of these school stimulus bonds expire Dec. 31, 2010, unless they're renewed by Congress, "and there's no guarantee of that renewal," Bartow said.

State statutes provide that the school district can be indebted to a maximum of 15 percent of the locally assessed property valuation of the district for the previous year. For the Marshall district, that's 15 percent of $133,964,986, or $20,094,748.

To answer the question of how much the district might need to spend on a new school, Paul James and architect Michael G. Kautz of the firm of Frangkiser Hutchins first reviewed the six sites identified in 2003.

Two of those sites are alongside U.S. Highway 65, north of the railroad tracks and just south of Highway 41/240, one on the east side of the highway and the other on the west side.

A third site fronts on South Odell Avenue, along the east side, just south of Drake Road. Site number four is on the east side of Lincoln Avenue, north of Highway WW and south of East Morrow Street.

The fifth site runs along the west side of U.S 65, at the "Y" intersection separating U.S. 65 and Business 65. The sixth and final site sits along Lincoln Avenue, north of Mueller Road.

Kautz acknowledged that each of the sites has problems, but focused instead on a timeline for the project and the associated cost, which he estimated to be in the range of $12 million dollars, about $5 million more than the 2003 project.

"It won't get cheaper," Kautz said. "The passage of time won't improve the price. Time is your enemy. The years since the last bond issue cost over five million dollars."

Kautz also pointed out that property values in rural communities are rising slowly.

"In five to seven years," he said, "you will find it much harder to fund school projects like this one."

Kautz outlined a project timeframe that has bidding on the project beginning in May 2010, with construction running from June 2010 through December 2011.

Following the presentation, Noah and the board discussed next steps, including building design concerns, the hiring of a construction manager and the acquisition of land. It will be August before details are clearer, but the background work will go on during the summer months. Paperwork for filing for the ballot must be turned in to the county clerk by Aug. 23.

Contact Kathy Fairchild at


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I agree it is time for a new school. We need to get our kids out of the trailors and back in the classroon. Some of the pick-up and drop off spots are so dangerous it is horrific!

Several people have commented on the wasted gas for busses. Having one campus would fix that only one drop off point not schools all over town.

Some times to save money, money has to be spent!

What are a few more taxes per year if it can prevent a child from being injured or killed going to or coming home from school.

Better schools attract businesses to communities, meaning more jobs!

-- Posted by litlmissme on Mon, Jun 15, 2009, at 3:51 PM

well said Jebbs and What the... Maybe the people with kids in these schools and that want new ones should be the citizens to pay more taxes for these schools. I certainly don't want to pay extra for new schools when I don't use them. I had to use those schools way back when and they were good enough for us! I hate paying school taxes as it is now!

-- Posted by awake on Sun, Jun 14, 2009, at 10:47 PM


Since we can't afford new schools right now the elementary schools should go back to each one being K-6 like they were designed to be as neighborhood schools. It is absurd they way we bus kids aroung this town when they should be able to walk and ride a bike like we did as a kid.

All this bussing is a huge waste of money.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Fri, Jun 12, 2009, at 11:09 AM

I can't believe the school board is even going to bring this up again during the time that people are losing their homes and everyone I know is struggling to even pay the bills they have now. Look in the paper at the trustee sales every night and watch the paper for the homes being sold for back taxes. My husband and I are paid well and with the increase in the price of necessities we don't have a lot extra. Our kids are grown and out of the house. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is for people that are paying for day care and all the other expenses that a family has. My mother is on a fixed income - and she struggles to keep her house up and pay the current taxes every year. Good idea to raise her taxes. Maybe she will be lucky and can cut her grocery bill enough to pay an increase. The school board needs to wake up and realize that even an increase of $100 a year in taxes is that much less that some people will get to buy food with. I see so much waste - get that under control and then see what the budget looks like. Before you all respond angrily that there is no waste, every day I pass three buses going down the same street to pick up different groups of kids. How much is spent for buses, salaries and gas each month. I bet that amount is astronomical. So think again if you think that me or any member of my family will support a new school at this time in our economy.

-- Posted by jebbs on Thu, Jun 11, 2009, at 9:50 AM

The plans in the past have been for 2 elementary buildings, a k-2 and a 3-5. Personally, I think this is the way to go as far as configuration of grades in buildings. Previous bond issues have failed for several reasons, one being the location. The past 2 bond issues wanted to build on 65 and 240, so that doesn't appear to be the solution. Perhaps a different location would be better, but someone is always going to feel put out that the school is closer to someone else.

Sure the new schools would save money on such things as energy because they would be more efficient, but staffing would have to remain the same. There would still be the same number of classes and teachers for each grade.

While it may be great to try and take advantage of a change in the number of votes needed to pass, and some stimulus money, we need a solid plan to go forward with, not something slapped together at last minute because of opportunities available for this election only. The past several bond issues have gone down in defeat, not getting even a simple majority. So unless this time is a much better solution, a 4/7ths majority rather than 2/3rds won't really matter.

I'm not against new schools, just saying that the planning needs to be much better than in the past, and with less than 5 months til the election and no site proposed, much less any building plans or cost estimates, how can this be done so it passes, and not just be slapped together, almost guaranteeing another defeat?

-- Posted by Reader101 on Wed, Jun 10, 2009, at 1:22 AM

1ofthegals ... i completely agree with you. they try this stuff about once a year, putting out feelers to see how it's received. obviously the voters have spoken several times, they just don't get the hint, and in this time of nobama and his spending and craziness, now is not the time to be pushing this again. sure, maybe there is some stimulus money available for something like this, but what strings come with it? government is just trying to get its hands into our pockets and our freedom.

-- Posted by aikman8 on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 11:12 PM

The problem with HWY 65 and 41 is that its in a hazmat zone, you have a chem plant on the north side of that propery and lord help the kids if there would be a chemical spill, the wind usally comes out of the north or north west and the school would be down wind. This town needs one elementry school, our grade schools were built in the 1920's and have alot of maintence problems, also the district pays over $400,000 each month of utility bills, for all the buildings and having one grade school would save the distict alot of money and would require less manpower, ie: teachers, staff ect. think before you vote, I do support a new school.

-- Posted by mofireman on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 1:02 PM

what about the corner of 65 and 240? its farm land , in town which shouldn't be allowed anyway. and before all the farmers start in like they are broke and need all the land, hop in your new truck, listen to kmmo and dont worry about this blog, your fine. that land is perfect, it is close to the bus barns, it is on main roads and easy to find and like i said, its farm land.....in town...nuff said

-- Posted by thisguy on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 12:19 PM

I seem to recall that at one time the District looked into the possibility of purchasing the land upon which the Marshall Plaza sits and the owners "from back east" wanted several million (as much as 4 million or so) dollars for the land and refused to negotiate anything on the price. There were also issues of long term leases that would have to be honored in some fashion. In addition to the astronomical price and leases, I recall there were also issues of possible drainage and asbestos problems. I think we can all agree that maintenance has not been a high priority for the owners. There is a chuck hole on the steep entry off of College that could almost swallow a small car.

-- Posted by OldOwl on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 11:56 AM

aen2012: Although efforts were made to work with the owners of the Marshall Plaza site at the time of the 2003 bond election, nothing ever came of it.

-- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 11:20 AM

They can't just knock the buildings down, and then start building schools. The school district must first purchase the land, and then they must provide those leasing spaces a decent amount of time in order to find a new home for their business. Do you really think that a property owner who is guaranteed income from a property such as the Plaza (and obviously isn't spending much on maintenance of the property) would be willing to give up that guaranteed income? I think not!

-- Posted by Owl12345 on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 10:53 AM


-- Posted by 1OFTHEGALS on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 10:52 AM

Well I thought they were going to do that and at least use the extra land to build and expand the high school. However, businesses continue to stay there. I'm not sure what is going on. It looks horrible with just a few stores there and I think they could relocate somewhere else in town allowing for their current property to be used by the school district.

-- Posted by aen2012 on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 9:02 AM

knock down that old strip mall and make that whole huge block all schools!

-- Posted by awake on Tue, Jun 9, 2009, at 8:02 AM

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