Editor's note: The information below is provided by Citizens for the School Bond, a group leading the campaign for a $16.8 million bond issue that would allow the Marshall school district to buy land and build a new elementary school.
Election date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Please take a few minutes to read the following questions and answers concerning the up-coming school bond issue. When you are finished, you may still have questions and/or concerns. If so, do not hesitate to contact any member of the School Bond Committee.
School Bond Committee Members: Wayne Crawford, chairman; Craig Noah, superintendent; Cheri Williams, campaign committee chair; Amy Crump, media committee chair; John Angelhow; Jean Young; Mike Machholz; Dan Brandt; Janine Machholz; Suzann Hayes; Jeanne Parkhurst; Sara Reiff; Wesley Christian; Denise Dunham; and Jack Dunham.
|*||What are the changes in the School Bond Proposal since the November 3rd, 2009 election?|
|*||The properties considered:|
|*||The cost of the building|
Three properties were considered this time. They are the Gaba property (approximately 20 acres, costing $350,000); the Banks property (approximately 26 acres, costing $260,000); and the Gieringer property (approximately 70 acres, costing $650,000).
The Marshall School Board decided on the Gieringer property. The new school, housing grades 3, 4, and 5, will be built on the corner of Lincoln Street and Watermill Road.
|*||The site will allow for the construction of additional schools, over time.|
|*||Preparing the land will be a savings over the other properties.|
|*||The site is located away from highways.|
Eastwood School will be sold or razed.
The three remaining old elementary schools (Northwest, Southeast, and Benton) will be "neighborhood" schools, each housing grades Kindergarten, 1,and 2.
The cost of the building has been reduced from the original $19,000,000.00 to $16,800,000. 00.
The size is 73,624 sq. ft. ($140 per square foot for the building; the rest for development of the land, furnishings, site work, etc.)
Changes in the building since the November bond issue:
|*||Lowered roof lines in commons area|
|*||Removal of locker/dressing rooms|
|*||Less dirt work and shorter driveways, due to the different site|
|*||Classrooms remain the same|
|*||What will it cost each resident if the bond issue is successful?|
For the Home Owner: assessed value = 19% of market value. Debt service levy = assessed value divided by 100 times $0.67).
Market Value Tax per yr. Tax per month Tax per day
For the Farmer: assessed value = 12 percent of productivity value. Debt service levy = assessed value divided by 100 times $0.67.
|Productivity Value||Tax Per Year Tax Per Month Tax Per day|
For the Business Owner: assessed value =- 32 percent of market value. Debt service levy = assessed value divided by 100 times $0.67.
|Market Value||Tax Per Year Tax per Month||Tax Per Day|
For Owners of Personal Property: ( a boat, car, 4-wheeler, etc.) the assessed value = 33 1/3 percent of market value. Debt service levy = assessed value divided by 100 times $0.67.
|Market Value||Tax Per Year Tax Per month Tax Per Day|
|$5,000||$11.17||93 cents||3 cents|
|*||What is Marshall's levy rate? What does this indicate? How does ours compare with surrounding communities?|
Forty-eight percent of the school system's budget comes from the current levy. This is based on assessed valuation of property. The levy can be raised to better fund education if the community's citizens vote to do so.
Marshall has not raised its levy for at least ten years. Other communities have voted to raise their levies for education. This is how Marshall compares with area school districts:
Sweet Springs: $3.99
|*||What is a Debt Service Levy? How does Marshall rank with surrounding areas?|
A debt service levy indicates the amount of money that has been voted on and passed by the people, and has been set aside for building maintenance and improvement. Marshall has not passed such a levy in many years.
Surrounding communities have passed such levies and improved their schools. The comparison is as follows:
|*||Why is NOW the time for a bond to be passed?|
The federal government has allocated $144 million in federal stimulus money to the state of Missouri to be used in the construction of public schools. Approximately $6,000,000 will be available to Marshall, dependent on the number of schools with successful school bonds. This money will be available through interest-free or low-interest bonds. These funds are available THIS SCHOOL YEAR and will not be available again. This money will be given to another school if our bond issue fails. Secondly, the interest on bonds is at an historical low, providing a savings to the taxpayers over the life of the bonds. The federal stimulus money and the current bond rates provide the school with a one-time opportunity,
During the past year, the Marshall Public Schools lowered the school levy from $3.32 to $3.06 because of Proposition C and the "Windfall Stipulation." This was a saving of $.26 to the taxpayers.
|*||What is the current bond proposal?|
The new school for grades 3-5 will cost approximately $16,800,000. This building will be erected on the Gieringer property, and the site of the structure will be at the corner of Lincoln St. and Watermill Road.
The Gieringer property consists of approximately 70 acres. The future plan is to have a campus there, with another building housing grades Kindergarten-2, and a building housing grades 6-8. The property was chosen specifically because it allows for growth.
As the new 3-5 building is completed, younger students will be able to have classrooms ONLY in the main buildings, and the trailers will be sold or destroyed. These were originally meant for temporary use, but have survived far beyond their time.
The existing four elementary buildings will be reduced to three, with Eastwood being sold or razed. Southeast, Northwest, and Benton schools will house grades Kindergarten, 1, and 2, respectively.
|*||How was the building design selected, as well as the layout of the campus and the grades to be included?|
A design firm, currently on retainer for the school system, was commissioned to originate several proposals for a new school. They acted on input from the district staff and administrators, as well as the Marshall School Board. Public forums were held at the different existing buildings, tours were given, and citizens in attendance were able to ask any questions and offer their opinions and ideas. While the ultimate bond proposal was drawn up by the school board, input from the people attending the meetings and from people suggesting ideas in other formats, as well, was given serious consideration.
|*||What are surrounding communities doing in regard to the construction of new schools?|
Even in this current economic downturn, neighboring communities have passed bond issues:
Slater: New early childhood building
Sweet Springs: New elementary building
Higginsville: Elementary classrooms
Glasgow: Increase for the school budget
Warrensburg: Expansion at four elementary schools and construction of a new school
Sedalia: New high school
|*||How long have our elementary schools been in service?|
Our elementary schools and Bueker Middle School have served our community well, but it is now time to start the process of replacing them. Eastwood and Benton were built in 1922, Southeast in 1928, and Northwest in 1968. The Middle School (former high school) was built in 1923, with the gym being added in 1955. Our teachers are trying to educate children in buildings constructed from 41-87 years ago.
|*||How many students are in the buildings at this time?|
Our elementary and middle schools were not designed to serve the number of children that are being educated in them. These schools were fine for the number of students attending in 1922, and for several years later. However, today, these schools have become dramatically overcrowded with nowhere to expand. The elementary schools house 917 students and the middle school houses 737. In order to accommodate these students, these schools added temporary trailers for additional classroom space. These trailers range in age from 15 to 40 years.
|*||If the bond doesn't pass, how much will it take to refurbish the old buildings?|
The Marshall School Board asked the architects to look at the old schools to give them an in-depth overview of the cost of renovating the existing buildings: Northwest, Eastwood, Southeast, Benton, and Bueker Middle School. [Note: Superintendent Craig Noah confirmed that BMS was not actually part of the renovation estimate but is a separate project further in the future of the long-range facility plan.] To get the buildings in safe condition and make them large enough to house all the students would take approximately $20,515,036. While the renovation was taking place, students would have to be housed in other facilities for some of the time.