Posted: Apr 2, 2013 10:40 PM by Meghann Mollerus
Updated: Apr 3, 2013 12:48 PM
JEFFERSON CITY - On Tuesday night, Jefferson City residents overwhelmingly voted down a proposed tax levy and $79 million, 20-year bond issue that would have funded the construction and development of a new high school and elementary school.
If the proposals had passed, voters would have had to pay a $.25 tax levy and $.30 bond increase--a total $.55 total property tax increase per 100 dollars of assessed valuation. Essentially, district officials said, an owner of a $100,000 home would have had to pay a yearly increase of about $104.
Now, the Jefferson City Public School District (JCPS) will have to assess a new plan to address problems of overcrowding and aging infrastructure in the building, built in 1964. Currently, grades 10 through 12 are in the school, while grade nine is located in the Simonsen Ninth Grade Center.
Superintendent Assistant of JCPS School-Community Relations David Luther said, "Our hallways (at the current high school) are based on the standard of 1964. Simonsen Ninth Grade Center was built in 1914 for 525 kids. We're not struggling with class size. We're struggling with overall space. Our cafeteria is packed. We had to go to five different shifts. [Students] start eating before 11 and go after 1."
The school district's plan was to build the new school on a 115 acres, purchased for $3.1 million, at Highway 171 and Mission Drive. It would have held grades nine through 12 in seven classroom buildings and would have had enough space for up to 3,500 students. Because the site is adjacent to the new St. Mary's Medical Center, "all of the infrastructure was already there--our sewage, gas, water--we won't have to pay for that," Levy said.
The school district had contracts with Lincoln University and Linn State Technical College to purchase different buildings of the property. The new East Elementary School would have been located on East McCarty Street, and the old location would have become the new Miller Center.
Opponents of the plan, including a group called Citizens for Two Public High Schools, cited concerns about the large size of the proposed new school and instead have advocated splitting the district in half and building a second high school in addition to the current one.
But, Luther said the larger new school would have maintained the current 19:1 student teacher ratio and provided a cohesive high school experience that research suggests decreases drop-out rates. He also said splitting the district into two could pose problems voters may not have foreseen.
"If you spend the money to do the renovations [on the current high school], plus the money to build a new high school, then your bond and your levy--bond in particular--goes up significantly. If all things were equal, we would be talking about maybe $1.10 increase, as opposed to $.55," Levy said.
Tuesday afternoon, Levy told KOMU 8 News if the proposals did not pass, the school district would "step back, take a look at where we're at, then we'll come out and talk to our community about it and see what we're going to do."
Levy said the current kindergarten class at the elementary school is 797 students--students who will not be able to fit in the Simonsen Ninth Grade Center by the time they are high school freshmen.
The school district projected the new, singular high school was set for completion by August 2016. Officials would not say what the new time frame is to come up with and implement an alternative plan.
Posted 4:37 PM 11/24/2015 by Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - The holidays are a time when phone scammers take advantage of people who look to donate to a worthy cause.
The United Way of Central Missouri said it received a complaint from a local company, which said an unknown person called them claiming to represent the Randolph (More)
Posted 5:09 PM 11/24/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - A Wisconsin federal appeals court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions. One University of Missouri law professor said the ruling should not affect Missouri statute.
"It really shouldn't (More)
Posted 4:34 PM 11/24/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter and The Associated Press
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia has stopped performing medically-induced abortions.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri confirmed the clinic ceased offering the abortions Monday. The organization also confirmed Nov. 19 was the last (More)
Posted 4:07 PM 11/24/2015 by Megan Kelly, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Downtown Columbia is a highly sought after in terms of space, according to a recent survey by Plaza Commercial Realty.
The survey found only two percent of commercial space is vacant out of the three million square feet downtown.
"Right now there's a pretty deep (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 4:00 PM 11/24/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY - Thanksgiving travelers this weekend will face increased traffic and the safety risks that come with it, and mid-Missouri agencies are getting ready.
AAA estimates 42 million Americans will travel by car this holiday weekend. 872,000 of those will be Missourians.
Posted 1:34 PM 11/24/2015 by Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that 91 percent of college campuses across the nation did not report any incidents of rape on campus in 2014. Both Stephens College and the Columbia College campus in Columbia fall into this category. The University of Missouri's archive (More)
Posted 2:57 PM 11/24/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the first-degree murder convictions and the death sentence for one of four men convicted of raping two sisters and throwing them to their death from an abandoned Mississippi River bridge in St. Louis 24 (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 2:27 PM 11/24/2015 by Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
COLUMBIA – MFA Oil Company named a new vice president of retail automotive Tuesday.
MFA Oil announced Edward Harper will oversee the operations of Big O Tires and Jiffy Lube in addition to the company’s construction and maintenance departments.
“Ed is an (More)
Posted 2:10 PM 11/24/2015 by Jim Salter, The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fifty years after a St. Louis gospel singer says she was told her daughter died at birth, and months after the 76-year-old woman learned that her daughter was still alive, a judge is being asked to restore the birth mother's parental rights.(More)