Blue Springs School District bond issue would fund career center, updates

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — The Blue Springs School District is asking voters to approve a no-tax rate increase $100 million bond issue in February.

The funds from the bond issue would go toward multiple district projects, including a new career center, performing arts spaces, additional office space and more.

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The bond issue, or a debt paid for by school property taxes, will not increase tax rates for those who live inside the Blue Springs School District boundaries, according to the district.

Proposed projects

If approved, the district plans to construct a state-of-the-art Career Innovation Center at its Vesper Street site for all high school students to use.

It would house programs for health sciences, physical therapy, business and entrepreneurship, gaming and technology, aviation, culinary arts, and hospitality, among others.

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The district would add a new performing arts space, which would also double as a high wind shelter, to all four of Blue Springs’ middle schools.

Additionally, Franklin Smith, James Walker, and William Yates elementary schools would receive additional office space to accommodate more counselors, mental health professionals, social workers and assistant principals.

The district will also build additional classrooms at William Yates Elementary to address space limitations, and Franklin Smith Elementary would receive new exterior updates.

Blue Springs School District said it selected the projects through a 10-Year Facilities Plan, and a citizens committee helped rank the projects.

Ballot question

Here’s what voters in the Blue Springs School District will see on the Feb. 4 ballot:

“Shall Reorganized School District No. 4 of Jackson County, Missouri (Blue Springs, Missouri), issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $100,000,000 for the purpose of constructing a Career and Innovation Center, constructing performing arts facilities at each middle school that will also serve as storm shelters, constructing classroom additions at certain elementary schools and acquiring, constructing, improving, extending, repairing, remodeling, renovating, furnishing and equipping new and existing school facilities and acquiring land therefor?

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“If this question is approved, the debt service property tax levy of the school district is estimated to remain unchanged at $1.0875 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.”

What’s next?

The special election is scheduled for Feb. 6. In order to pass, a two-thirds super-majority of voters will have to approve the question.

If approved, the district would start work as soon as possible.

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The Blue Springs School District hopes to have middle school additions done by August 2025 and open the Career Innovation Center in August 2026. Other projects would be finished in the 2024-25 school year.

The district also said it plans a second phase of facilities projects, including an additional bond issue, in the future to address other elementary projects and more work at the career center.

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