After viewing preliminary floor plans at a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, the Slater school board voted to place a $1.3 million bond issue on the November ballot to build a new pre-kindergarten and kindergarten building.
Because the board has a current bonding capacity of $1.9 million, the bond issue will mean no tax increase for property owners.
"It will be absolutely no tax increase whatsoever," said Slater School superintendent John McEachern.
The decision followed almost two months of discussing the possibility of using the newly available Quality School Construction Bond (QSCB) money to build a permanent building to replace two temporary trailers now being used.
The interest free bonds were made available through federal stimulus money and only needs a 4/7 majority to pass. Past bond issues required a 2/3 majority for passage.
Because of the large number of school districts vying for the stimulus money, McEachern said the state will pro-rate the QSCB money to each school district eligible. The difference would not be interest free.
"I'm not guaranteeing all of it will be interest free, but some will be," said McEachern. He also said that if $700,000 of the money were interest- free, it would save over $200,000 over the life of the bond.
Although very preliminary, board members viewed a plan drawn by Sedalia architect Robert Rollings. The plans were for a 13,000 square foot building with six classrooms and a 73 by 36 central play area.
The larger building would also allow the pre-school program a chance to expand. Although three-year-olds are eligible for the program, pre-school director Becky Drummond said right now the school only has room for four and five-year-old students.
"She has 20 in the pre-school and if we open it up and add 10 more 3-year-olds and I think we'd still have a waiting list after that," said Slater superintendent John McEachern. "We've had a waiting list ever since I've been here."
McEachern said they would be having a couple of "town hall meetings" in the future to provide Slater citizens with an opportunity to ask questions about the bond issue.
"We'll probably have one here fairly soon to announce the decision," he said, adding that as they get building plans finalized with the architect they will have another meeting.
After the meeting on Monday, the board went into executive session where they hired Chris Zdybel and Frank Guthrie as assistant junior high football coaches.
Board member Joey Gochenour was absent from the meeting.
Contact Marcia Gorrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Slater school board delays decision on bond issue:
Slater school board approves bid for elementary building repair work:
Slater board closes out school year:
Slater School Board considers bond issue for new building: