Cass County to vote on tax for $3.7 million in school renovations

CASS COUNTY, Mo. — After opening its doors 60 years ago, the Midway R-I School District building could be in line for millions of dollars in renovations.

The Cass County facility, which is home to the area’s high school and elementary school, has seen a number of additions and renovations over the last few decades.

However, Cass Midway Superintendent Gordon Myers said the facility still has some issues he hopes to address.

“There are things that we need to put Midway schools in the 21st century,” he explained. “By accomplishing these projects, we feel we’re doing that for the next generation at least.”

On Tuesday, Cass County residents will vote on whether or not to approve more than $3.5 million in renovations to the school district building.

A day before the vote, Myers showed 41 Action News some of the fixes he wants to make.

“New flooring, new ceilings, new wall coverings,” he explained. “Just like with someone’s home over the years, wear and tear is going to put it in a state where we need to go in and fix it up.”

Myers showed flooring in some classrooms and the school’s cafeteria that dated back to around when the school opened in 1958.

From cracks on some of the tiles to some of them even missing, Myers hoped to update the floors.

“It’s at the end of its life and has been for quite a while,” he said.

Myers also showed off the kitchen, which he said continued to be outfitted with dated equipment.

“A lot of the equipment that we have is getting pretty aged,” explained the superintendent, who hopes to make the school kitchen more energy efficient. “We’ve got a great gas stove but it’s got six pilot lights that burn all the time.”

Other possible improvements tied to the proposal include:

  • Improving school security
  • Paving and resurfacing parking lots
  • Complete renovation of all student/public restrooms
  • Adding air-conditioning to gyms
  • Hazardous material abatement

A similar proposal for renovations at the facility fell short by just 11 votes last year.

If the proposal passes on Tuesday, it would increase property taxes for an owner of a $100,000 home in the area by $28.50.

While signs of support could be seen near the school on Monday, some residents said they planned to vote against the plan.

“I’m being taxed heavily at this point and it’s becoming excessive,” explained body shop owner Joseph Flemington, who lives in Freeman. “It’s not so much on the principle of what they’re doing. You just need to make due with what you have because I do.”

In order to pass, at least 57.14 percent of those who cast a ballot will need to vote “yes” on the measure.

If the plan gets approved, Myers said top priority renovation projects could be completed by 2019 or 2020.

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