Southern Boone Voters

To Decide on No-Tax-Increase Bond Issue for Major Repairs to Stadium Voters in the Southern Boone School District will cast ballots in the April 5th, 2022 election and decide on a $3 million no-tax-increase bond issue, which would be used to make major repairs and improvements to the district’s outdoor stadium.

The Southern Boone School District is asking the public to vote on the $3 million no-tax-increase bond issue, which would provide funds to rebuild and resurface the track, install new artificial turf on the football/soccer field, fix drainage issues on the field and around the track, install a new scoreboard and sound system, fix drainage issues and repair erosion around the baseball/softball field, fix roof concerns at the high school and address additional facility needs in the district. Passage of the bond issue will not increase the district’s property tax levy. The district has responsibly refinanced and repaid bonds from past building projects. Both of these factors open up capacity to issue new bonds, while keeping the debt service levy the same. No increase to taxes will be required.

Taxes will not go down if the measure fails, because the school district will continue to pay off debt related to construction of previous bond issue projects at the other schools. The bond issue language reads, “Shall the Southern Boone County R-I School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $3,000,000 for the purpose of constructing, improving, renovating, repairing, furnishing and equipping school facilities, including resurfacing the track, installing new artificial turf, and replacing the score board and sound system at the High School outdoor athletic complex and improving other District outdoor athletic facilities? If this question is approved, the District’s debt service tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged at $1.8049 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.”

Thanks to the support of the community with passage of previous bond issues over the years, the school district has been able to address the needs created by rapid enrollment growth at the primary and elementary schools. Construction continues on the new addition and remodeling project at the middle school. That project was made possible by voters approving a $7.7 million no-tax-increase bond issue in the April 2021 election.

The district is now wanting to start the process of addressing repairs and improvements on the high school campus. Plans For Future No-Tax-Increase Bond Issues April 2024: Phase II High School Renovations Potential $7-8 million no-tax-increase bond issue to build a new wing on the high school for the vocational, agriculture and FFA programs, parking lot improvements and redesign the high school office to address safety and security concerns. April 2026: Phase III High School Renovations Potential $7-8 million no-tax-increase to build a new performing arts center and additional classrooms, roof repairs, along with other updates and improvements to the high school. April 2028: Early Childhood Center Potential no-tax-increase bond issue to build an early childhood center behind the primary school. This new building would house Kindergarten, Preschool, Early Childhood Special Education and Parents As Teachers. The district would then transition to full day early childhood programs that are tied to the K-12 academic calendar.

Previous Passed Bond Issues April 2021: $7.7 million no-tax-increase bond issue for the middle school expansion and renovation project. April 2019: 40 cent tax increase ($6 million bond issue) for the two story expansion (17 new classrooms) at the primary school and teacher pay. April 2018: $4.75 million no-tax-increase bond issue for the new gymnasium and 3 classrooms at the elementary school, new central office that opened up 7 classrooms at the middle school and a high school softball/baseball complex. April 2016: 15 cent tax increase ($7.5 million bond issue) for construction of 8 new classrooms and gymnasium at the primary school, 4 new classrooms at the elementary school and new weight room at the high school. “Thanks to the community’s ongoing support of the school district, we have been able to address the needs in our schools and improve our facilities,” said Christopher Felmlee, Southern Boone School Superintendent. “With voters approving multiple bond issues over the years, we’ve been able to make improvements at the primary, elementary and middle school. Now is the time to focus on much needed improvements at the high school campus.”

Athletic Director Dale Long says the entire outdoor athletic stadium is in need of some major repairs and improvements. “When it rains, the track holds water because of significant drainage issues around the field, which is causing the track to deteriorate and the underlayment to give way,” said Long. “Because of the current state of the track, the high school and middle school track teams are not able to host track meets, conferences or districts.” “The time has come to address these major issues with the track and field at our stadium,” said Trent Tracy, head football coach. “The football and soccer field looks great at the beginning of August, but a combination of wet weather and usage creates some serious safety concerns with the field in September and October.”

The issues with the field have caused problems for the soccer team. “We have had to cancel or move numerous home games because our field cannot handle the water,” said Wade Vandelicht, boys and girls head soccer coach. “In the past, the field’s poor quality has prevented us from hosting tournaments, or even district and state playoff games.” The improvements to the field will benefit more than just the athletic programs. “The much needed upgrades will give the high school marching band a high-quality surface to practice on before school, and during class that is close to the classroom,” said Andrew Marjamaa, band director. “Last year, we had to cancel the field portion of our marching band festival, due to poor field conditions related to the water drainage problems.”