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by Patty Cheffey
The Palmyra R-I Board of Education took another step to making needed upgrades at the high school and security measures at the elementary and middle schools during the board of education meeting last week.
The board heard from the architects and project planner and adopted the ballot language during the meeting.
Damien Schlitt from BLDD Architects, and Matt Nigh from Navigate Solutions reviewed cost estimates and drawings of the facilities upgrades for Proposition 2.
If approved by the voters in April, the bond issue would allow the district to secure $8 million for facilities improvements.
“If the bond issues passes, it will take care of many of the safety and infrastructure issues in the school district,” said Superintendent Jason Harper.
Facility improvements would include upgrades to multiple classrooms, the kitchen and the gym at the Palmyra High School, Harper said.
“The area of the high school that is being renovated has not been upgraded since construction, and the majority of that was constructed in 1971,” he added. “There are ADA compliance issues and safety issues in those areas as well.”
In addition to the renovations at the high school, work would include removing 22,000 square feet of asbestos tile at Palmyra Elementary along with replacing the original galvanized piping that was installed in 1959.
“The condition of the galvanized piping at Palmyra Elementary is poor, and that cannot be improved without a total replacement of the piping in the original parts of the building,” Harper said.
In addition, approval of Prop 2 would create a new safety entrance at Palmyra Middle School.
“The safety entrance at the middle school is critical to the safety of our students and staff,” Harper noted. “Individuals entering that building have no containment and can go wherever they want without entering an office area.
“The bond issue addresses enough infrastructure, education and safety issues that it would allow us to look at future projects that could enhance the school district in the future,” he added.
The ballot language is as follows: “Shall the Board of Education of the Palmyra R-I School District, Missouri, without an estimated increase in the current debt service property tax levy, borrow money in the amount of Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000) for the purpose of providing funds to construct a new secure entrance at the Middle School; to replace galvanized piping and remove asbestos tile at the Elementary School; to upgrade classrooms, the kitchen and gym area at the High School; to the extent funds are available, complete other repairs and improvements to the existing facilities of the District; and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.6730 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.”
The issue will be the April 2, 2024 ballot.