LS R-7 School District bond issue projects are on time and within budget
Projects ranging from a new school to classroom renovations to playground upgrades are among facility improvements made possible thanks to a 2015 Lee’s Summit R-7 no-tax-increase bond issue. The numerous projects, which positively impact all 28 R-7 schools, remain within budget and on schedule.
The $40 million bond issue was approved by close to 80 percent of school district voters during April 2015. In addition to a new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus, the issue is funding school improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, ADA access renovations and special education as well as maintenance projects designed to protect the district’s investment in its schools. Also included are playground safety upgrades for all elementary schools’ soft play areas and replacement of deteriorated play equipment.
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. The majority of the individual school projects were scheduled for completion during summer 2015 and summer 2016 with a few extensive projects wrapping up during the 2016-17 school year or summer 2017. School improvements totaling $8 million were completed during summer 2015 with approximately $9 million in upgrades scheduled for completion by fall 2016.
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 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.
The new Summit Technology Academy / 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 community groundbreaking celebration.
Thanks to a unique partnership with the University of Central Missouri (UCM), the school district and university will construct and operate 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 Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus 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 Summit Tech / MIC 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.
For more information about the bond issue progress, including photographs of projects, visit the district’s website.