April 4, 2023 School Bond Issue

Proposed 2023 addition to GVHS.
New student and activity entrance, fieldhouse, and weight room located at the southwest corner of GVHS.

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School Bond 2023 Video

School Bond Issue for April 4, 2023

Grain Valley High School Expansion and Renovation - Fieldhouse and Activities Addition

The School Board has placed a $32 million school bond issue on the ballot for the April 4, 2023 election for the purpose of providing funds for the site development, construction, equipping, and furnishing a new high school gymnasium/fieldhouse addition. The district has other maintenance and upkeep needs that will be addressed with the passage of this bond issue. These projects are likely to include: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; replace roofing; upgrade athletic facilities; and address other repairs and improvements to existing facilities of the District. The full project list will be shared as soon as the details become available.

If this bond issue is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the School District is estimated to remain unchanged at $1.7000 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.

Rendering of proposed fieldhouse gymnasium interior that seats 2,000.
Proposed fieldhouse gymnasium that seats 2,000.

Phase 6 of the GVHS Masterplan will be located on the southwest corner of the existing building. This fieldhouse and student activities addition will include a new fieldhouse gymnasium that seats 2,000, renovation to the existing smaller gymnasium which will become the auxiliary gym, renovations to PE and varsity locker rooms, a new weight room, new student and activity entrance with student attendance office, and renovations to the existing commons/lunchroom as an alternate bid. Demolition of the existing weight room, rooms previously used for band and choir, and the northwest corner of the existing gymnasium will make room for the new fieldhouse gymnasium and a wider Eagle Way student and activities entrance.

The addition of a new fieldhouse/gymnasium will accommodate the growing needs for practice and competition space for volleyball, wrestling, basketball, and practice space for other sports and activities, consistent with other Suburban Conference schools. The new fieldhouse gymnasium will become the primary competition gymnasium for events that draw larger crowds with its 2,000-person capacity.


Proposed 2023 Bond New Addition drawingProposed 2023 Bond Issue Site plan
Map color chart

Phase 6 Includes:

  • Fieldhouse gymnasium
  • Weight room
  • Student & Activities entrance
  • Student attendance office
  • Restrooms & concessions area
  • Agility space with batting cages
  • Renovations to the existing gym
  • Renovations to PE varsity lockers
  • Renovations to the commons as an alternate bid

Phase 6 of Long-range Plan

In 2012 the school district hosted public forums to address the needs of a much-overcrowded Grain Valley High School. Based on the input from stakeholders in these sessions, the School Board approved a long-range plan to double the square footage of the high school building and renovate the existing structure to provide the infrastructure, instructional space, and activity space needed to accommodate as many as 1,600 high school students.

This long-range plan has led to the passage of school bond issues in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 resulting in the completion of Phases 1-5. Additions to the southeast and northeast corners of the school, and renovation to the existing area between these additions, have been completed. We have also completed additions to the north side and to the west/northwest part of the school. Improvements have also been made to the stadium, as well as updated tennis courts and improved access for softball and baseball. Parking has been added. This next phase of the long-range plan makes a significant addition to the southwest corner of the school.

This year we have 4,564 students in Pre-K through 12th grades, including 1,465 students in our high school. This is up from 3,679 students in our district in 2010-2011 and up from 935 students in the high school at that time.

Proposed student and activities entrance
Eagle Way student and activity entrance.

Phased Construction

With the passage of this bond issue in April 2023, work would begin right away. A temporary weight room would be established near the locker rooms and the exiting weight room and rooms previously used for band and choir would be removed. During the 2023-2024 school year, the new fieldhouse gymnasium, weight room, and student entrance with attendance office would be constructed. During the summer of 2024, renovations would occur to PE and varsity locker rooms, as well as to the existing gymnasium. Renovations would also occur in the commons area in the summer of 2024 as an alternate bid. Work on phase 6 is expected to be completed in time for the start of school in August of 2024.

Registering to Vote - The deadline to register for the April 4th election is March 8, 2023. Voter Registration forms are available online at https://www.jcebmo.org

Absentee Ballot - You may vote with an absentee ballot beginning February 21, 2023.

Student and activity entrance, fieldhouse, and weight room located at southwest corner of GVHS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How will the passing of this bond issue affect the school district’s tax rate?

A.  The $32,000,000 general obligation bond issue on the April 4, 2023 ballot is structured in a manner that is estimated to not require any increase to the existing debt service tax levy of $1.70 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation based upon very conservative projections for future growth in assessed valuation. The bond issue extends the current levy but does not increase it.

Q.  What is the difference between bond issues and operating levies?

A.  Bond issues build “brick and mortar” buildings and facility improvements while operating levies provide funding for almost all other aspects of the school district such as salaries, benefits, supplies, materials, bus fuel, utilities, etc.  Bond monies can only be used for the construction, improvement, site preparation, and equipping of school buildings and facilities.

Our overall school district tax levy rate is $4.9271, which is the lowest school district tax levy rate in Jackson County. The overall rate includes our operating levy, teacher levy, and the $1.70 debt service levy.

Q.  What “other repairs and improvements to existing facilities of the District” does the district have in mind with the passage of this bond issue?

A. To the extent funds are available, we have several capital needs listed here in no particular order.

  • Repair and replace roofing at district facilities.
  • Upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems across the district, including replacement of aging equipment.
  • Address chronic flooding issues with our baseball and softball fields.
  • Replace rubberized gym floors at Sni-A-Bar Elementary and Prairie Branch Elementary.
  • Replace rubberized playground surface at the Early Childhood Center.
  • Add storage for district operations.
  • Update technology network systems throughout the district.

Q.  Will these bonds be issued at “par” or “premium”? What are the implications if premium bonds are issued?

A. We are advised that premium bonds will likely be in high demand by potential investors this spring and are a strong possibility for this bond issue. Ultimately, the municipal bond market and the funding needs of the District will drive whether these bonds are offered at par, premium, or a combination of the two. When issued at a premium, the investor pays more than face value for the bonds to get a higher interest rate, and that “premium” amount beyond the face value can be used by the school district on approved capital improvements. These funds are also a means to address unexpected inflationary increases in project costs. This premium amount received beyond the original figure listed in the ballot language ($32,000,000) does not count against the district’s legal debt limit and the district only repays the $32,000,000 plus interest over the life of the financing. In addition, the bonds will be eligible for refinancing or prepayment without penalty after five years due to a short call feature.

Q. What future building plans does the District have in addition to the proposed bond issue?

A. The district is committed to completing our long-range plan for Grain Valley High School that began in 2012. We estimate two to three more new construction phases, plus renovation to the original section of the building, over the next few years.

Although student enrollment in the elementary school grade levels has been flat for several years, a future uptick in elementary enrollment may trigger the need for elementary school #5. We do not expect the need for another elementary school for at least three more years.

Q. What is the timeline for the completion of the projects associated with the April 4, 2023 bond issue?

 A. If the bond issue passes on April 4th, construction would begin right away. The goal is to have this project completed by the fall of 2024. Project planning is separated into three phases: Summer 2023 - demolition of the existing weight room and establish a temporary weight room; 2023-2024 school year – construction of new fieldhouse gymnasium and new weight room; Summer 2024 – renovation of PE and varsity locker rooms, and renovation of the commons/lunchroom if bids come in favorable as an alternate bid.

What other questions do you have? Email us at [email protected].

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