LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. — Due to an increase in enrollment, the Lincoln County R-3 School District is proposing a $37 million no-tax-increase bond issue on the April 5 ballot.
The district has grown the most, by percentage, in the state over the last school year.
Audrey Henebry is the Community Relations Director and she says the district currently has about 7,100 students.
This year, 400 more students enrolled compared to last year.
She says, "I think there's just a lot of people moving out to Lincoln County. I know that our taxes are lower out here and it's more land and we're still very close to Wentzville and St. Charles."
Henebry also points out the growth of Wentzville.
"We know Wentzville is very quickly growing and so I think we're just starting to see that continuation of that moving up 61," she says.
Proposition KIDS, KIDS standing for "keep improving district schools," is a plan to keep up with the growth.
It won't affect the tax rate, which has been the same for the district for nine years.
"While we've seen that growth across the board pre-K through 12th, the largest growth recently was in our elementary level. This is to address that immediately," Henebry adds. "This would address our most urgent needs and allow us to prepare for growth at the secondary level."
If passed, it would:
- Build an eighth elementary school building near Troy South Middle School
- Expansion of Troy South Middle School with six new classrooms and New Horizons High School
- Other projects would include; paving parking lots, driveways, and other areas
- Developing and securing additional building sites for the Troy Buchanan High School Construction Trades Program
- Resurfacing the Troy Buchanan High School Track
- To the extent funds are available, improvements to the outdoor instructional and athletic facilities in the District
- Completion of other repairs and improvements to the existing facilities of the District
"I would say it's critical for all of our students because it does impact the class sizes for all grade levels pre-K through 12," Henebry says. "By not passing it, we would see larger class sizes, we would see more mobile units. We've had to have mobile units put in at one of our elementary that houses all of our 5th graders there, which just creates its own set of barriers to learning."
At this rate, grade K-5 and 6-8 schools will reach maximum capacity and be in need of additional building space to support education as early as the 2023-2024 school year.
The Ninth Grade Center is also in conversations to get an expansion.
"We'll be looking to put that on the ballot, probably in about two years," Henebry notes.
As far as voting for Prop KIDS, polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on April 5, 2022.