|
|
|
The Carthage Press
  • District reaches out to voters with public forum

  • People interested in learning more about the construction that would take place if voters say yes to an $18 million bond issue on April 8 can ask questions and see pictures at a public forum scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Carthage High School.
    • email print
  • People interested in learning more about the construction that would take place if voters say yes to an $18 million bond issue on April 8 can ask questions and see pictures at a public forum scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Carthage High School.
    Superintendent Blaine Henningsen said the public is invited to come and ask questions about the new intermediate school planned for Fir Road near Steadley Elementary, and the renovations planned at the current Carthage Middle School on River Street to make it the new Carthage Junior High.
    Drawings and renderings will be available for inspection and administrators will be on hand to tell voters why they are seeking the $18 million bond issue and how the bond will be repaid.
    Henningsen showed off some of the drawings for the first time at this month's regular Carthage Board of Education meeting.
    Some of the key features of the new fourth and fifth grade intermediate center are:
    • Approximately 108,000 square feet.
    • Constructed to house 850 to 900 students.
    • Large common area with stage.
    • Gym/tornado safe area with 265 seating capacity.
    • Separate bus and parent drop off locations.
    • Options for 18 regular education classrooms per grade level. The district presently has 15 fourth grade teachers and 14 fifth grade teachers.
    • Five open flex labs.
    • Area for open flex lab and two classrooms visiting media center.
    • Site preparation to make Fir Road/Chapel Road safer for public, including a stop light at Fir Road and Chapel Road intersection with turning lanes, and entrance and exit from Chapel Road only for parents and visitors.
    The major additions and changes for the Middle School are as follows.
    • A new commons area and seven new classrooms, totaling 22,255 square feet of additional space.
    • A new cafeteria with seating for 340 people.
    • The present cafeteria will be rebuilt as two classrooms and room for a kiln.
    • A new 8,342 square foot media room with a remodeled office and secured entrance.
    • An area for an open flex lab and two classrooms for students visiting the media center.
    • The present media center will be rebuilt as two classrooms and office.
    • A new gymnasium with a regulation court and seating for 307.
    • The basement of the new gym will be built as a tornado safe room and be used daily as a wrestling room, weight room and locker rooms.
    • The new gym will feature a chair lift for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    Henningsen said the renovations will add 11 new classrooms to the building, but one existing classroom will be lost to build restrooms in the new cafeteria, meaning a net gain of 10 classrooms in the building.
    Page 2 of 2 - The bond issue requires a four-sevenths majority, or 57.1 percent to pass.
    If voters approve, the district's current property tax debt service levy will not be increased to pay for the bonds. The levy, which currently expires in 2026 when the bonds to build the high school are paid off, will be extended to 2034 to pay off these new bonds.
    In addition to seeking the bond issue, the district is asking Missouri lawmakers to change the law to allow the district to make a one-time transfer of more than $5 million from general fund reserves to the district's capital improvements fund to help pay for the traffic signal at Fir and Chapel roads and help install tornado safe bunkers at the five elementary schools.
    All these projects are separate from the district's early childhood center, which is under construction on Fairview Avenue and will proceed as planned regardless of the vote. That building is being built to house the Parents As Teachers, Early Childhood Special Education and Title I Preschool programs.
    The $3 million early childhood center is being paid for with federal money and local and foundation grants and donation.

        calendar