Voters in the Nixa Public Schools district showed their support for a pair of ballot issues on April 2.
A $15 million bond issue passed, as did a 41-cent property tax levy increase for capital improvement projects and increased wages for teachers.
Question 1 passed by a vote of 3,075-1,484, nabbing 67.45 percent of the vote in 14 precincts. Question 2 passed by a simple majority vote of 2,477-2,081, attaining 54.34 percent “yes” votes.
Question 1 required a four-sevenths super majority vote, or at least 57.14 percent, in order to pass. Voters showed support for a series of construction and remodeling projects, and also enough support in favor of a property tax levy increase that will fund pay raises for teachers.
Nixa Board of Education President Scott McDonald said he was relieved with the news at an election watch party Tuesday night at Big Whiskey’s in Nixa.
“I feel very, very good. Once again, the community stepped up like they’ve always done in the past and they have supported the schools,” McDonald said.
The $15 million that will be generated as a result of Question 1’s approval may only be used for infrastructure projects, such as the proposal to add classrooms and update the main entrance at Century Elementary.
The next step will be for the board of education to hire architects to fully plan the additions to each building, taking them from the conceptual stage to the blueprint phase.
“That hard work begins right now. We haven’t wanted to spend the money with the architects to get the specifics out on those details,” McDonald said.
Question 2 will raise the school district’s operating levy by 41 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Revenue from the tax levy increase is reportedly marked to fund building projects and upward adjustments to the salary schedule for teachers.
A new teacher in Nixa makes a minimum salary of $36,871 per year. By comparison, the same teacher can make $37,900 per year to start in Ozark or $38,023 in the Springfield R-XII School District.
A Nixa teacher with a master’s degree would make a minimum of $37,885 annually. The salary schedule for teachers with advanced degrees peaks at $68,604.
Fine arts and athletic programs at Nixa High School were a key selling point in the campaign for the ballot issues.
Voters should notice some of the earliest effects of Question 1 and Question 2 at Nixa High School's Eagle Stadium.
“They’ll start doing a lot of the preliminary work on the activities center, the sports complex, this summer,” McDonald said. “The whole thing won’t be completed for the fall, but a lot of the preliminary work will be done this summer.”
Seating at Eagle Stadium on the home side of the field has remained at 1,800 since the stadium opened in 2000. The remodeling would up the capacity for home fans to 3,500.
“We have anywhere form 500-2,000 people who stand on the track for a game,” Nixa High School Activities Director Brandon Clark said. “For some people, that might be a great view for them to be up that close. But it’s not great on our track. Over the years, it’s really hurt our track to have that much foot traffic on it consistently.”
A new main concession stand would be built at the north corner of the field adjacent to the soccer program’s locker rooms.
“Going to the concession stand here can be a trip because it’s very crowded with long lines,” Clark said. “We hope to upgrade our concession stand to be more hospitable to our community and guests.”
Costs of the remodeling of the stadium are to be determined.
“Our central office administrators have their max numbers for the bond and levy being in $30-40 million range,” Clark said.
Fourteen years ago, Nixa voters approved a ballot issue similar to Question 2. It also raised the school district’s property tax levy by 41 cents.
Nixa Public Schools improvement projects tied to Question 1 and Question 2
Voters will decide on a pair of ballot proposals in the election held April 2, 2019.
-Classroom additions at Century Elementary that would allow the school to add fourth grade classes
-Remodeling at Eagle Stadium at Nixa High School with expanded seating and concession areas
-Construction of a performing arts center at Nixa High School, which would seat at least 1,000 people, to replace the current theater
-Remodel the current theater into a band room
-Expand the Nixa High School choir room
-Expand additional classroom space at Nixa High School
-High Pointe Elementary and Century Elementary would receive upgrades to their entrances to allow for more secure and controlled entry into the schools.
-Roof repairs at Inman Intermediate
-Classroom infill at High Pointe Elementary
-Multipurpose room/gym construction at Century Elementary and at Espy Elementary
-HVAC system upgrades at buildings across the district on an as-needed basis
-Roof repairs on an as-needed basis across the district