Southern Boone schools will ask voters to increase their taxes

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ASHLAND- The Southern Boone School District is asking voters to approve a property tax levy increase to expand the districts' primary school, at a cost of $6 million.

The project will add 17 new primary classrooms for the school district's growing population.

Emmy McKenzie, who graduated from Southern Boone, said the district's growth over the past 20 years is "crazy."

She said her graduating class, in 1996, was less than half of what her son's graduating class will be. He is currently in kindergarten. 

Christopher Felmlee, superintendent at Southern Boone, said the district currently has eight kindergarten classes and expects more next year.

The tax increase is needed to fund more construction, he said.

"We have this disconnect between the growth and the ability to fund that growth," Felmlee said.

In the past, the district has issued school bonds, which do not increase taxes. However, the district hit its bond capacity funding previous projects related to growth.

Several school districts across the state are asking voters to approve various bond issues during elections Tuesday.

Boonville Public Schools wants voters to approve a $9 million school bond to fix the district's leaking roofs and broken HVAC units.

According to the school district, leaking roofs have created textbook damage, distractions in the classroom and water damage to ceiling tiles.

Josie Johnson, a junior at Boonville High School, said garbage cans to catch water cover hallways, staircases and classrooms across Boonville Public Schools.

She said the leaks come from roofs in desperate need of repairs.

Hannibal School District is also asking voters to approve a school bond for more than $14 million. The money would pay to install, replace and update HVAC units across the district.

Hannibal High School and Hannibal Middle School are the only schools in northeast Missouri that do not have air conditioning, according to the school district.

The district said students have lost 77 hours or 10.25 days of instruction over the past 5 years due to heat release days.