By DEVIN R. NEGRETE
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – Voters will decide the fate of two separate ballot issues on April 8 to benefit the Warrensburg R-6 School District. These proposed levy increases are designed to make building improvements, increase teacher pay and address school security issues.
A 12-cent increase to the district’s debt-service levy would allow the district to issue bonds for three construction projects worth $16.8 million. This would result in a $22.80 increase per $100,000 of appraised value on homes in the R-6 School District.
The first project is to build a new entrance and 800-seat performing arts center at Warrensburg High School. The $10 million to $12 million 30,000-square-foot project would also improve classroom and laboratory space.
“By putting a performing arts center on the front of our high school will allow us to create a single and secure entrance to the high school,” Patrick said.
The high school project also includes the addition of high-wind shelter areas.
The second part of the project would add three new classrooms and office area to Warrensburg Middle School. This 7,000-square-foot project is expected to cost $2.8 million.
The final part of the project will allow the district to upgrade and make improvements to the athletic stadium between the middle school and Sterling Elementary.
“We’re going to put new field turf on the football/soccer field, a new track and field facility, new press box and new seating,” Patrick said. “The project will be about $1.5 million in improvements.”
The second ballot issue is an 88-cent operating levy increase. The levy increase would generate $2.28 million each year. This would result in a $167 increase per every $100,000 of appraised value on homes in the district.
These funds would help hire two new Warrensburg Police officers to bring the district’s total to three school resource officers. The operating levy increase would also fund technology upgrades, install a district-wide Wi-Fi system and increase salary for staff members.
“It is possible that one could pass and one could fail, but we hope that doesn’t happen,” Patrick said.
A total of 38 cents of the operating levy increase would pay for $985,000 in salary increases for staff and teachers. Four cents would go toward the school resource officers, which are expected to cost $105,000 each year with the city of Warrensburg sharing in the additional cost.
Dale Carder and Deborah Orr are co-chairs for the Citizens in Support of Warrensburg R-6 Schools Committee.
“We are planning some advertising dependent on the amount of funds we raise,” Carder said. “We have also done mailing and are having fliers produced to go door to door and handout.”
They have also created a Facebook page to promote the two ballot issues.
“The page contains information, pictures and drawings of various components of the two issues that will be on the ballot,” Orr said.
She said Warrensburg has an excellent school district and wants it to keep improving.
“An excellent school district is one of the underpinnings of a successful community,” Orr said. “We want to ensure the vitality and growth of our district and community.”
For more information and to use the district’s levy calculator to figure your potential tax increase, click this link: www.warrensburgr6.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=47822&&.
This calculator allows users to input the appraised value of their homes or the assessed value of their homes to calculate their potential tax increase. The county uses assessed values of homes to calculate property taxes.