On Monday, January 13, the Board approved the following ballot language:
PROPOSITION S: For the purpose of constructing, renovating, improving, furnishing and equipping school sites, land and District buildings, including but not limited to constructing an elementary school, classroom additions and other facility improvements, and making safety and accessibility improvements throughout the District, shall the Board of Education of the Kirkwood School District R-7, St. Louis County, Missouri issue general obligation bonds in the amount of Seventy Million Dollars ($70,000,000) resulting in an estimated decrease to the debt service property tax levy of $0.07 per $100 of assessed valuation? If this Proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the school district is estimated to decrease from the current rate of $0.364 to $0.294 per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property.
The meeting is posted to the District's YouTube Channel. Due to the meeting being relocated to the NKMS cafeteria, the audio is not ideal. We apologize.
January 6, 2020:
During the past two years, the District has worked to develop a strategy to address Kirkwood’s current and projected enrollment growth to ensure a quality education for students. This work began in September of 2018 with a series of building tours, meetings with schools, and community forums to update our Facilities Master Plan.
In the summer of 2019, the Board decided to seek outside counsel from a national educational firm, Cooperative Strategies, to assist in brainstorming innovative solutions to the overcrowding in our schools.
The District and Cooperative Strategies partnered to hold a number of focus groups in September to elicit feedback on potential solutions. This initial feedback led to the development of three scenarios, which were presented to our community through a written survey and an online engagement process.
Our Board and district administrators used this community feedback to develop two potential options to address enrollment growth and meet the educational needs of our students. During the Board Work Session on December 2, board members discussed the benefits and ramifications of each option.
After thoughtful considerations of all that has been collected, shared, and discussed, the administration recommended, and the Board approved one option.
If approved by the voters, the bond would cover the cost for constructing and renovation.
- a new elementary school on the district-owned Lindemann site;
- a gym and a library at Tillman;
- secure entrances at KECC, North Glendale Elementary and Kirkwood High School;
- seven classrooms at Kirkwood High School through construction and renovation;
- four classrooms at Nipher Middle School;
- renovating the Administrative Services Center to provide eight classrooms for North Kirkwood Middle School and the maintenance facility to include office space for the displaced Administrative Services Center.
At the Board meeting on January 13, 2020, the Board will vote on the ballot language for the proposal and the terms of the bond. If approved in April, the tax rate will be lowered by seven cents while addressing significant facility needs across the District. This is a savings of $43 a year for a household valued at $325,000. If the April 2020 bond proposal does not pass, the current debt service levy will continue to drop as the District’s existing debt is paid.
After the Board approves the official ballot language on January 13, we will send additional details regarding land surveys and traffic study around the Lindeman property and the timeline of design and construction for each project.