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Blue Springs School District Asking Voters to Approve Millions in Additional School Bond Debt

This Tuesday, voters will decide whether to allow the Blue Springs School District to take on an additional $20 million in school bond debt. According to the district:

The Blue Springs School District is adding a $20 Million, No Tax Increase Bond issue onto the Tuesday, April 2, 2013 ballot. The primary focus of the bond addresses safety and security improvements.

At least $14 million will be used to fund improvements to student and staff safety, including:

Secure entrances at seven elementary buildings: Daniel Young Elementary, Franklin Smith Elementary, James Lewis Elementary, Sunny Pointe Elementary, Voy Spears Jr Elementary, William Bryant Elementary and William Yates Elementary

Secure entrances and office relocations at all four middle schools: Brittany Hill Middle School, Delta Woods Middle School, Moreland Ridge Middle School, Sunny Vale Middle School

Secure entrance at the Freshman Center

Enhanced communication system and other safety improvements

$6 million or less will be used for improvements to facilities, including:

Freshman Center media center and science labs

Multipurpose facilities at James Lewis Elementary, James Walker Elementary and Sunny Pointe Elementary

New padded turf playground surface at elementary schools

Warehouse facility for maintenance (if funds remain after all other projects are completed)

Although citizens in the Blue Springs School District will be deciding this bond issue, they will not be able to vote for Board of Education members this year. Two incumbents — Dave Wright and Rhonda Gilstrap — filed to retain their seats. According to Missouri State statute, however, when the number of candidates matches the number of vacant positions, no election is required. This law is intended to save money for the district, which otherwise would have to foot the bill for the election.

Sample ballots for the Blue Springs bond issue are available from the Jackson County Election Board.

Voting will take place Tuesday, April 2, on both sides of the state line in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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