Voters all over the Missouri side of the metro area on Tuesday were deciding school board races and money issues for new teachers, construction and technology.
The big-ticket item was in Lee’s Summit, where patrons approved a plan to build — in partnership with the University of Central Missouri — a $64 million facility for three programs designed to help students earn a bachelor’s degree in only two years after leaving high school.
The issue won with nearly 80 percent of the vote. A four-sevenths majority, or about 57 percent, was required.
The district’s bond proposal was $40 million, of which $17.5 million would help with construction. The district and Central Missouri entered into an agreement that calls for the university to pay 60 percent of the cost to acquire land and construct the building at a site to be determined. The district would own the building after 20 years and then lease it back to the university.
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The building would include services for the Summit Technology Academy, the Missouri Innovation Campus and the University of Central Missouri Summit Campus.
The district has marked an additional $21 million for improvements and deferred maintenance at current schools.
Voters also elected Julie Doane and Adam Rutherford to the board. William Lindsey also ran.
▪ Independence School District: Voters approved a request to increase the district’s levy by 24 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
With all votes counted, the issue passed with 65 percent approval. It needed only a simple majority.
Superintendent Dale Herl pushed the request, saying increased funding was necessary to offset a drop of nearly $100 million in assessed valuation. Also, the district has about 1,300 more students than it did five years ago.
The levy boost will result in about $2 million more in revenue annually. Officials said most of that would go toward hiring additional teachers to reduce class sizes. The rest will go toward equipment, professional development and building maintenance.
▪ Hickman Mills school board: After a period of financial irregularities, low test scores and school board rancor, things have calmed down in the district in southeast Kansas City.
But elections there still draw a crowd. Eight candidates filed for two seats.
With all precincts reporting, the winners were incumbent Darrell Curls and a challenger, Carol Graves. The current board president, Eric Lowe, lost his bid for re-election.
▪ North Kansas City school board: Voters filled three seats in a district considering year-round school.
But that issue was not the deal maker or breaker. All four candidates were open to the idea.
Voters stuck with two incumbents, Jay Wilson and Jeffrey “Chip” Luerding. Challenger Victor S. Hurlbert also won a seat.
Wilson and Hurlbert each received 29 percent of the vote. Luerding got 25 percent.
The other challenger was Dennis Jirkovsky. Current member Melissa Roberts did not seek re-election.
The district is piloting year-round school in two of its buildings.
▪ Park Hill school board: In a nasty race, voters stuck with one incumbent and elected a newcomer.
Karen Holland had teamed with Jeff Kingsley to attack incumbents Matt Pepper and Lathem Scott as big spenders of taxpayer money.
Holland won, but so did Pepper. Pepper led the way with 31 percent of the vote; Holland got 26 percent.
In campaign fliers, Holland and Kingsley told voters that Pepper and Scott were “infatuated with your money” and “Make no mistake our taxes are going to go up” if the two were re-elected.
For results as of press time, see Page A5.