After holding a series informational meetings, Union R-XI School District officials are optimistic that Proposition KIDS, an $8 million no-tax bond issue, will get voter approval.
A no-tax increase bond issue is essentially an extension of the current tax levy, much like borrowing off the equity of a home.
Superintendent Steve Bryant told board members Monday evening that he has received a lot of positive feedback after speaking to citizens and organizations about the proposal that would allow the district to make major capital improvements at the three elementary schools, middle and high schools and central office.
“We’ve been on the speaking circuit,” Bryant said. “And we’ve had a positive response everywhere we’ve been.”
District officials have had informational meetings at several entities in Union, including the Lions Club, Rotary, Kiwanas, and had two open forums at Beaufort and before the PTO. The scope of work needed with bond proceeds include new roofing at several buildings, window replacement, tuck-pointing, waterproofing, concrete repair and improvements to the district’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC).
The district is also looking to make some safety-related improvements, including some new surveillance equipment and automated door locks. Board member Virgil Weideman said he has heard some skepticism from community members, but has not heard of any organized opposition.
“I don’t think it’s strong, but people are skeptical,” he said. “The impression I get is they don’t necessarily believe what we’re saying."
Weideman said people wanted to see more specific information about where the money would be spent.
Bryant suggested, and the board agreed, that putting a presentation on the school website would provide more information about the project, along with some specific examples of the needed repairs would help alleviate any public skepticism. He hopes to have that information on the site sometime next week.
The district’s website is www.union.k12.mo.us.
“We are continuing to put information out there,” Bryant said.In addition to the bond issue, Bryant said he and other officials have been publicly discussing the outdoor facilities project, which Bryant said he emphasized is in no way connected to Proposition KIDS.
That project includes making improvements to the stadium, a new track surface, some interior fencing, visitor bleachers, an expanded high jump and a turf football field, the latter which would be paid for with money garnered from paid advertisers.
The advertisers would pay around $21,000 over an eight-year period to have their company logo embedded in the turf along the edge of the field. Also, for $150,000, a sponsor can claim naming rights to the new football field, although the stadium itself would keep the name Stierberger Stadium.
Althletics and Facilities Director Chris Arand said he already has about 10 or 11 local businesses and other entities that said they are interested in a field sponsorship.Arand said if the money comes in from sponsorships, the turf project could start in early May.