School facility improvements, new Missouri Innovation Campus are on time and within budget
Thanks to voter approval of a 2015 no-tax-increase bond issue, schools throughout Lee’s Summit R-7 are receiving facility improvements. The $40 million bond issue, approved by close to 80 percent of voters, is also funding the district’s new Missouri Innovation Campus, home of Summit Technology Academy. All school improvement projects as well as the Missouri Innovation Campus are on time and within budget.
Missouri Innovation Campus nearing completion
The new Missouri Innovation Campus, located near Ward and Tudor Road, is scheduled to open in August 2017. Construction on the new school began in March 2016 following a groundbreaking celebration. A community grand opening is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sept. 5 at the new school.
Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university are constructing and operating this cost-saving shared facility. Under the plan, Lee’s Summit R-7 is paying approximately 40 percent of the new school with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent. Based on an agreement between the two organizations, Lee’s Summit R-7 will be the sole owner of the facility which will house Summit Technology Academy and Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) programs as well as UCM programs currently located in the UCM-Lee’s Summit facility. UCM is paying its portion through a lease agreement.
The shared facility will reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move both the Summit Technology Academy and MIC programs from leased space into a building owned by the school district. It is anticipated that due to increased rental costs resulting from the expiration of a long-running tax abatement, Lee’s Summit R-7 will save approximately $9 million over the next 20 years by construction of the new facility.
School renovation and maintenance projects continue on schedule
Approximately half of the $40 million bond issue is funding numerous school improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA access renovations and special education. Also included are maintenance projects designed to protect the district’s investment in its schools as well as playground safety upgrades for all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment. Numerous improvement projects were completed during summer 2015 and summer 2016. The majority of the remaining projects will be finished by the start of school in August with just a few projects wrapping up during fall 2017.
The school improvements, maintenance projects and playground upgrades are positively impacting all 28 Lee’s Summit R-7 schools. A few examples of the many school improvements are classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit High School, entry security improvements at Lee’s Summit North High School, a concession/restroom building at the Lee’s Summit West High School softball/baseball complex, a gym addition and classroom renovations at Mason Elementary, classroom and art classroom renovations at Lee’s Summit Elementary and a kitchen and cafeteria renovation at Hazel Grove Elementary.
Examples of school maintenance funded by the bond are flooring, carpet, ceilings, painting, roofing, paving, mechanical, doors, windows, door FOBS, backflows, water sanitizing and masonry.
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