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Ray-Pec School District seeks bond issue for new freshman center

Several other school issues on April 6 ballot
Ray-Pec Freshman Center plan.jpg
Freshman Center rendering Feb. 2021.png
Ray-Pec Performing Arts Center.jpg
Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 15:57:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several school districts in the Kansas City metro are putting bond issues before voters on April 6.

The Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District will ask voters to borrow $72 million for construction of a new freshman center, which eventually would be expanded to a second high school.

If passed, Proposition S also wound fund a new performing arts center, HVAC upgrades, playground renovations, infrastructure and technology upgrades, and buying land and buildings to accommodate the district’s growth.

It would not require a tax-levy hike because the district already has the debt capacity to issue the bonds.

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The new freshman center would be constructed on land Ray-Pec Schools owns adjacent to Ray-Pec East Middle School. It also would include stadium changes, tennis courts and additional practice fields.

The expectation is that a new high school will be needed within five to 10 years because of rapid growth in the district.

The Raymore-Peculiar School Board approved the purchase of a former grocery store and Orscheln Farm and Home building at Missouri 58 and Foxridge Drive last month.

The 41,000-square foot building will be converted into a technical school that focuses on STEM and career-oriented trade education.

The new performing arts center would be built at Ray-Pec High School, unless the district alters the current plan.

Grandview C-4 voters to decide to tax issues

Voters in the Grandview C-4 School District will be asked to decide two tax measures, one of which would raise property taxes for homeowners.

The first would raise the district’s tax levy 60 cents per $100 of assessed value “for the purpose of attracting and retaining quality certified and support staff and meeting additional operating expenses.”

The district’s current operating tax levy would go up to $4.9057, or an additional $114 per year in property tax for a $100,000 home.

The second bond issue before Grandview C-4 voters would authorize issuance of $45 million in bonds for a range of infrastructure improvements, but it would not impact the district’s debt service levy.

The money would be used for improvements to athletic facilities, remodeled restrooms, new windows in some schools, a new gym and fine arts addition at Martin City School and numerous other projects.

More school bond issues

Lawson voters in Clay County will decide whether to allow the R-XIV School District to increase its operating levy by 95 cents “to pay for increased costs of educational programs, contracted services, retaining quality teachers and staff and meeting increased operational costs.”

The current operating levy is $2.9547 per $100 of assessed value, so passage would add roughly $180.50 in property taxes for a $100,000 home.

Several other school districts have no-increase bond issues on the ballot next month.

Platte County R-III voters in Clay and Platte counties will decide a $73-million bond issue.

The current debt service levy would remain unchanged and the money would be used to build and furnish a new middle school, renovate Pathfinder Elementary School and Barry School, begin renovations at Platte County High School and upgrade security and technology.

Voters in the Independence School District, including those who live in Kansas City, Missouri, will decide a $43-million bond issue, which would find “safety and security improvements” and general maintenance of school buildings.

It also would be used to renovate the auditoriums and fine arts facilities at Truman, Van Horn and William Chrisman high schools, along with playground upgrades at the district’s elementary schools.

Approval would not raise the current debt service tax levy.

Belton School District 124 hopes to shift around its tax levy dollars, moving 50 cents to the operating tax levy for faculty and staff and pulling the same amount from the debt service tax levy.

Cass County voters in the Archie R-V district also will vote on a $1 million bond issue for infrastructure needs, which would not require a tax levy hike.

Sherwood Cass R-VIII voters also will decide a no-increase bond issue for $400,000, which would address infrastructure needs.

Several school districts also have contested school board races in Jackson County.

All Cass County sample ballots can be found on the County Clerk/election Authority website:

  • Archie R-V School District;
  • Harrisonville R-IX School District;
  • Kingsville R-1 School District;
  • Midway R-I School District;
  • Pleasant Hill R-3 School District;
  • Raymore-Peculiar R-II School District.

Clay County sample ballots can be found on the Board of Elections website:

  • Lawson R-XIV has a contested school board race;
  • North Kansas City Schools has a contested school board race;
  • Platte County R-III Schools has a contested school board race.

Kansas City, Missouri, sample ballots can be found on the Kansas City Election Board website:

  • Center School District No. 58 has a contested school board race;
  • The Grandview C-4 School District has a contested school board race;
  • Hickman Mills C-1 School District has a contested school board race;
  • Kansas City Public Schools has two contested school board race;
  • Lee’s Summit R-7 School District;
  • Raytown C-2 Schools has a contested school board race.

Platte County sample ballots can be found on the Platte County Board of Elections website:

  • There’s a contested school board race for the East Buchanan C-1 School District;
  • North Kansas City Schools has a contested school board race;
  • The Park Hill School District has a contested school board race;
  • Platte County R-III Schools has a contested school board race.