Overcrowded North Kansas City School District Asks For $114 Million To Make Improvements | KCUR

Overcrowded North Kansas City School District Asks For $114 Million To Make Improvements

May 24, 2016

North Kansas City Schools Board of Education will ask voters in August to approve a $114 million bond issue to improve overcrowded and aging schools.

If approved, rates for taxpayers will remain the same, and North Kansas City Schools will construct two new elementary schools and renovate the 90-year-old North Kansas City High School. 

The district is one of the largest in the metro with nearly 20,000 students.

Students and staff say goodbye on the last day of school for the 2015-2016 year in the North Kansas City Schools District.
Credit Courtesy North Kansas City Schools

“We are at capacity at several of our buildings and we grow every year by 200 to 300 students," says spokesperson Michelle Cronk.

"We are getting to the point where our demographer tells us by 2018 if we don’t have new construction we will have to have some kind of modular unit, trailers at schools things like that." 

Of the requested $114 million in bonds, about $40 million will be spent building two new elementary schools, projected to be complete before the 2018 school season. North Kansas City will then re-configure two existing facilities to exclusively serve 6th graders in order to free up space at existing overcrowded middle schools.

$60 million will go towards adding new classroom space, a fine arts center, new music rooms, indoor athletic areas and common rooms to North Kansas City High School, which was constructed in 1926. The remaining funds will be spent throughout the district on maintenance projects such as roofing, asphalt, and security enhancements.

"There's no predictor ever of what's going to happen in an election but we're feeling pretty confident at this early stage. Our staff has been supportive. Our parents and students have been excited so we're hopeful," says Conk about the public's reaction to the district's bond. 

Only registered voters who live in North Kansas City Schools attendance area may participate in the August 2 election. Potential voters must register through the Clay County Election Board by July 6 to participate. 

Hannah Copeland is an announcer and reporter for KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @hannahecopeland.