2020 No Tax Rate Increase Bond Projects

We're building a brighter future for students and staff thanks to the support of LSR7 voters.

A new fourth middle school. Major renovations and additions at Lee's Summit High School. A second early education center.

These are just a few of the exciting bond projects that 82.2% of Lee’s Summit R-7 School District voters approved in a $224 million no tax rate increase bond issue on June 2, 2020.

Voter approval exceeded the 57.14% required, as the bond issue received 10,697 votes in favor and 2,306 against.

Bookmark this page, where we'll keep you up-to-date and informed on LSR7's progress on several impactful and multi-faceted projects that will benefit students and staff throughout the district.

A new fourth middle school. Major renovations and additions at Lee's Summit High School. A second early education center.

These are just a few of the exciting bond projects that 82.2% of Lee’s Summit R-7 School District voters approved in a $224 million no tax rate increase bond issue on June 2, 2020.

Voter approval exceeded the 57.14% required as the bond issue received 10,697 votes in favor and 2,306 against.

Bookmark this page, where we'll keep you up-to-date and informed on LSR7's progress on seven impactful and multi-faceted projects that will benefit students and staff throughout the district.


More Information:

About the Bond Issue

What are the components of the $224 million no tax rate increase bond issue approved by voters in June 2020?

Voters approved a bond package with seven components:

  • Additional safety and security upgrades at all LSR7 schools 
  • Construction of a new approximately 1,200-student middle school
  • Renovations and additions at Lee’s Summit High School
  • Renovations at the district’s existing three middle schools
  • Expansion and renovation of Mason Elementary School
  • A second LSR7 early education center
  • Activity/athletic facility renovations at all three high schools

What processes informed the projects associated with the 2020 bond issue?

Our bond projects were informed through a Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan (CFMP) process that began in the fall of 2018. A CFMP committee examined how to meet the district’s future capacity needs and provide the school spaces future students and staff need to thrive. 

  • Phase 1 started in Fall 2018 and focused on capacity — how LSR7 prepares for enrollment growth. The district hosted 11 engagement events and conducted three community surveys that led to boundary changes approved in December 2018. 
  • Phase 2 started in Spring 2019 and focused on instruction — what do future-ready learning environments look like and what do educators need to meet future students’ developmental needs? This phase included nine action teams, including a middle school design process group tasked with studying the impact of moving sixth grade to middle school. 
  • In August 2019, the BOE approved three priorities for the 2019-20 school year, including: Ensure equitable access to future ready learning environments by further engaging stakeholders in the continued implementation of the Comprehensive Facility Master Plan by identifying preK-12 facility projects in anticipation of an April 2020 “no tax increase” bond issue. 
  • In September 2019, the BOE approved preliminary plans to move sixth grade to middle school. That fall the Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC), a group of 70 community members, staff members and parents, examined the CFMP work and ultimately decided to recommend construction projects the district should immediately prioritize. 
  • The CAC presented a $224 million no tax rate increase bond package on Dec. 19, 2019 at the BOE regular monthly meeting. 
  • The BOE approved that recommended package on Jan. 23, 2020 by a unanimous 7-0 vote.
  • Voters approved the bond issue in a June 2, 2020 election.

 

Sixth Grade to Middle School Transition

Why does LSR7 need a fourth middle school?

Building a fourth middle school is part of a district plan to adapt a 6-8th grade middle school model starting in the 2022-23 school year. Currently, sixth grade is part of elementary school.

Why did the district recommend the sixth grade to middle school transition?

The middle school shift is part of an instruction-driven transition to give sixth graders opportunities to engage in more electives and an advanced curriculum tailored to their needs. At middle school, educators can give sixth graders more attention and support during a crucial developmental stage. The transition to middle school will create new learning opportunities for sixth graders and provide more consistency for all middle school students, who will no longer be transitioning in and out of middle school in two years.

In addition, our school district population is projected to grow by 1,500 students in the next 10 years and the sixth grade shift will provide extra capacity at the elementary level. This extra room will allow elementary schools to invest in more enriched programming at the elementary level, particularly in STEM and Specials areas.

Will the middle school transition prompt boundary changes?

Yes. Since we will have four middle schools instead of three, we will have to adjust boundaries at the middle school level before the 2022-23 year. A Middle School Boundary Study Team will be convened in the spring of 2021. Elementary and high school boundaries will remain unimpacted.

Has staffing, curriculum and structure been determined for the new middle school model?

The processes to make these important determinations have begun.

  • Whitney Morehead, currently the Summit Lakes Middle School assistant principal was approved as principal of the fourth middle school at the February 2021 Board of Education meeting.
  • The district will conduct a Middle School Boundary Study from April - September 2021.
  • A Naming and Mascot Committee will also convene during the spring of 2021.
  • A process is also being developed to transition sixth grade (and potentially other) teachers from elementary to middle school, and a Middle School Curriculum Team is also being assembled this year. 
Bonds 101

What is a no tax rate increase bond issue?

A school bond issue is a financing tool used by districts to pay for capital projects, such as new buildings, renovations or land purchases. In a bond issue, districts ask voters if they can issue bonds to borrow money to cover the costs of these capital projects, and pay them back with property tax revenue.

How did LSR7’s 2020 bond issue affect taxpayers?

In a no tax rate increase bond issue, like Lee’s Summit’s June 2020 bond issue, districts ask voters to hold the tax rate at the same rate in order to fund future facility needs. The district asked voters to keep the debt service tax rate at $1.07 in order to fund the 2020 bond issue projects.

What type of majority is required for approval of the bond issue?

Voter approval requires a four-sevenths majority or 57.14 percent.

Project Timelines

Additional Safety and Security - All Schools

  • Starting in Summer 2020 and concluding in Fall 2021.

New Middle School

  • Schematic Design: January 2020 - March 2020
  • Design Development: March 2020 - June 2020
  • Construction Documents: June 2020 - October 2020
  • Bid/ Permit/ Construction: October 2020 - July 2022

Lee's Summit High School

  • Schematic Design: January - April 2020
  • Design Development: May - July 2020
  • Construction Documents: August - December 2020
  • Bid/ Permit/ Construction: January 2021 - July 2023

Renovations for three current middle schools

  • Schematic Design: August 2020 - September 2020
  • Design Development: October 2020 - November 2020
  • Construction Documents: December 2020 - March 2021
  • Bid/ Permit/ Construction: May 2021 - July 2022

Mason Elementary

  • Schematic Design: February 2020 - March 2020
  • Design Development: March 2020 - April 2020
  • Construction Documents: April 2020 - June 2020
  • Bid/ Permit/ Construction: July 2020 - Fall 2021

Early Education Center at Prairie View Elementary

  • Schematic Design: December 2021 - January 2022
  • Design Development: February 2022 -March 2022
  • Construction Documents: April 2022 - May 2022
  • Bid/ Permit/ Construction: June 2022 - July 2023

High School Athletic/ Activity Improvements

  • Light Renovation Scope: Complete in August 2020
  • Heavy Renovation + New Scope: Complete in August 2021+

2020 Informational Campaign Video

Progress, as promised:

VIDEO: Middle School No. 4 Update, March 8, 2021

+++

Drone footage of  Lee's Summit High School construction from March 2021. For more information on the high school activity improvements project, click here.

Drone footage of the new fourth middle school site from February 2021. For more information on the new middle school project, click here.

Community Partners

CFMP Team

The LSR7 Comprehensive Facility Master Plan (CFMP) Team, was formed in Fall 2018 to review research, voice diverse stakeholder perspectives and formulate recommendations for the district's Comprehensive Facility Master Plan.

Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC)

The LSR7 School District Citizens’ Advisory Committee, sometimes referred to as the CAC, is an advisory council organized to make recommendations to the LSR7 Board of Education. For more information, please click here.

Business Roundtable Committee (BRt)

The Business Roundtable is a group of business and school district leaders, founded in 2011 and chartered by the LSR7 superintendent. For more information, please click here.