Kelly school board puts bond issue on April ballot

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Karen Milam navigates through a hallway while transporting equipment from the Kelly High School Multipurpose Room to the kitchen in Kelly elementary School after serving lunch at the high school Monday, Jan. 14. (Adam Vogler)

BENTON, Mo. -- The Scott County R-IV School Board at Thursday's meeting unanimously approved placing a $3 million bond issue on the April 2 ballot.

"This proposal will help every student in the district, from kindergarten to high school seniors," said Don Moore, district superintendent. Moore, who recently announced his retirement at the end of this school year, said being straightforward and honest with the public regarding the bond issue is a priority.

The district, known informally as the Kelly school district, has had its share of troubles when it comes to passing bond issues, dating back to the 1990s when the district began asking voters for funds. Voters turned down the bond issue five times before approving a $3 million bond issue in 2002. The bond resulted in construction of a new high school facility. The facility helped ease congestion at the school, eliminating 13 mobile units.

District officials say taxes will not increase because of the bond issue. If passed, the district's debt service tax levy is estimated to remain at the current 42 cents per $100 of assessed value per property owner.

The district is proposing the construction of additional elementary classrooms and a full-service kitchen addition to the high school cafeteria and multipurpose room.

"We absolutely have no more room," said Fara Jones, the elementary school principal who will take over as district superintendent. Jones said more classrooms are needed to efficiently run the growing elementary. Jones also said a kitchen for the high school is desperately needed. The cafeteria employees cart food through the school in order to serve the high school. The high school students eat lunch in the multipurpose room at the opposite end of campus from the kitchen.

According to assistant principal Michael Eftink, the district gained 12 students during the winter break and lost four.

"If we enroll a large kindergarten class next year it will be difficult to provide adequate space for students," Jones said.

Other action

* Other items discussed during the meeting were: amendments to the budget, the recent installation of new lock and bolt mechanisms for classroom doors as an added security measure; and the adoption of a new attendance policy.

* A motion was made that any suspended student would be dropped out of the school system. Upon being allowed to return to school, the student would then have to re-enroll to the district. The time the student is suspended would no longer affect school attendance records since they would be considered a dropout during the suspension period.

Pertinent address:

4035 State Hwy. 77, Benton, Mo.

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