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Voters to decide $220 million bond issue for Springfield Public Schools on April 4

Michele Skalicky

The ballot issue would fund two new middle schools and the renovation of another among other things.

Voters in the Springfield Public School District will decide a $220 million bond issue for SPS on April 4.

Proposition S would provide money for safety and security upgrades at all school buildings and would fund a new Pipkin Middle School at a new location on the city’s northeast side. A new Reed Academy would be built on its current site near Lafayette Park, which is used for sports.

"Those are 100-year-old buildings, and so, we can't do the things that we really need to be doing due to its limitations and accessibility challenges and infrastructure issues," said Travis Shaw, the executive director of operations for SPS, "and the list can go on and on to why those buildings — they've served their purpose over 100 years, but they need to be replaced at this time."

Pershing School would also get upgrades, including a new gym.

Shaw said storm shelter gymnasiums would be built at Cowden, Holland, Mann, Pittman, Watkins and Wilder.

"Those schools were identified because, at the end of the three phases of our facility master plan, those schools would still not have their own separate gym," he said. "Right now they have what we call their 'cafegymatoriums,' which means they utilize the cafeteria as the same space for their gymnasium. It's the same space for assemblies."

The storm shelters would also have a music classroom/stage. The community could use the storm shelters during severe weather outside of school hours.

If voters approve Proposition S, it’s estimated that there will be no increase to the district’s debt service property tax levy, which currently is at $0.7300 per $100 of assessed property valuation.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.