Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Officials Say OK on Bond Issue to Eliminate `School' Trailers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Officials Say OK on Bond Issue to Eliminate `School' Trailers

Article excerpt

The Owensville School District can get rid of eight classroom trailers and avoid split sessions if voters approve a $7.5 million bond issue on April 2, Superintendent Gilbert V. Wamsley says.

The district would use the money to build a new middle school one mile north of Highways 19 and 28 in Gasconade County. The bond issue would pay for additions to the Gerald and Owensville schools and computer labs in each school building.

The district also would spend $1 million to make a prepayment on a lease -purchase agreement that financed a new high school that opened in the late 1980s. The prepayment would allow the district to make the last payment in 2002, four years ahead of schedule, Wamsley said. That would allow the district to avoid raising taxes to retire a future bond issue, he said.

This time, taxes would increase by 84 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation to pay off the bond issue. The district's tax rate last year was $2.91. The owner of a house worth $50,000 would pay an additional $79.80 a year in taxes to the district - if voters agree to the bond issue.

To pass, the proposal needs a four-sevenths favorable vote.

The trailers are at the Gerald and Owensville schools and the existing middle school. "The people in the district don't see trailers as a realistic solution" to space problems, Wamsley said.

Split sessions might be necessary in a few years if the district can't afford new facilities, he said. The district transports some children who ride the bus for an hour. Split sessions would mean that some children would have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to catch a 6:15 bus, he said.

The nearby Warren County R-3 School District put junior high school students and high school students on a split schedule after voters rejected two proposals to pay for a new high school.

"I've received some letters from Warren County that said split sessions are a disaster," Wamsley said. …

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