District Adds No Tax Increase Bond Issue on Ballot
NOTE: The April 7, 2020, general municipal election was postponed until June 2, 2020, per Gov. Mike Parson’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19.
Ozark voters will see a question from Ozark School District on the April, 2020 ballot — a $26.5 million no tax increase bond issue for renovation of the Ozark Innovation Center and expansion of Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center.
The ballot language will read:
Shall Ozark R-VI School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $26,500,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, repairing, renovating, furnishing and equipping school sites and facilities, including renovating the Ozark Innovation Center, remodeling and repurposing the District Office for early childhood learning and acquiring property currently leased by the District?
If this question is approved, the District’s debt service property tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged at $0.88 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.
“I’d like to thank our board, staff and community for partnering with us to create a plan that’s best for Ozark students,” said Superintendent Chris Bauman. “I am excited for the positive impact these projects will have on all our students, from our earliest learners to our high school graduates preparing for their future.”
The District has been working with the Board of Education on Phase One of the District's Long Range Plan — Operation Renovate & Innovate — since it was approved in March 2019.
“The decision to place a bond on the April ballot comes after more than a year of planning,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Curtis Chesick. “This plan provides the best opportunity to accommodate the growth across the District while enhancing and expanding our programs.”
Operation Renovate & Innovate positively impacts all students and is about more than buildings. The District is enhancing its educational philosophy and becoming more innovative in its approach to education.
The project includes renovating the Ozark Innovation Center to become a second high school campus, and renovating the District Office to expand Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center.
The estimated completion date is August, 2022. Grades will shift for the 2022-23 school year with the four elementary buildings becoming kindergarten through fourth grade; fifth and sixth grades at Ozark Middle School; seventh and eighth grades at Ozark Junior High; and ninth grade returning to the high school.
“In partnering with the community, the District has developed a plan that will realign our grades and buildings in a more efficient manner, address the space requirements of our growing community and offer new and unique educational opportunities that are not available anywhere else in the area; all without increasing taxes,” Board President Jeff Laney said. “This has very much been a group effort between the District and the community, and we are excited to present these plans to the voters in April."