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Blair Oaks discusses new high school

Blair Oaks discusses new high school

December 13th, 2017 by Phillip Sitter in Local News
Blair Oaks High School

Blair Oaks R-2's Board of Education continued to look into the feasibility Tuesday of building a new high school in two phases.

The board did not decide whether to put the question of raising the district's debt service tax levy to pay for such a project on the ballot for the upcoming April 3 election, though.

The board felt it did not have the time to adequately discuss the matter Tuesday. It did hear a presentation from Superintendent Jim Jones at a work session before the regular meeting, but members said they wanted more time for further discussion, including to hear more information from Architects Alliance's Principal Architect Cary Gampher.

The board agreed to look into it if this Sunday would provide an afternoon opportunity to explore the decision more.

The tentative idea Jones presented was to ask voters to approve a 25-35 cent increase in the district's debt service levy in April, which would raise that levy to $1.21 from its current $0.99.

With the current $2.75 operating levy, a 30-cent increase would make the district's overall tax levy $3.99.

That would allow for a $12.5 million bond issue in 2018 that would pay for the construction of a new high school, minus science labs and vocational spaces.

Those finishing touches would be added later for $4.5 million with a no tax increase bond issue in 2022.

Jones said whether or not the board decides to ask voters in April about an increase in the district's tax levy, he expects those discussions to increase in the coming years.

The board has until the end of the day Jan. 23 to submit ballot language to the county clerk's office.

Two board members' seats are open in the April election.

Member Kevin Ward filed for re-election Tuesday. Board Vice President William Duke had not filed for re-election as of Tuesday, and no other candidates had.

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