The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 19, 2010

School bond issues on tap in Monett, Pierce City

Voters in Monett, Pierce City head to polls April 6

By Wally Kennedy

Voters in the Pierce City School District and the Monett School District will face bond-issue proposals April 6.

Pierce City’s district, which has territory in Barry, Lawrence and Newton counties, is proposing to borrow $3.9 million for the construction, equipping and furnishing of a new middle school. The district’s debt-service levy would be increased by 33 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Monett’s district, which has territory in Barry and Lawrence counties, wants to borrow $4.5 million for the construction, equipping and furnishing of additional classrooms at an existing elementary school complex. The district’s debt-service levy would continue at 56 cents, but it would be extended.

John Jungmann, superintendent at Monett, said Proposition CUBS, or Citizens United for Better Schools, will help provide funding for a $7 million project that would upgrade Monett’s elementary complex. The complex serves 550 to 600 students in kindergarten through the second grade.

“We are targeting the elementary campus, which was constructed in the 1960s using the Arizona or California model,’’ he said. “We have nine buildings with no interior corridors for 5- to 8-year-olds to attend.’’

Jungmann said the project would connect the buildings under one roof to promote “safety, security, teaching effectiveness and efficiency.’’ Jungmann said that model of construction reflects “different times, different needs. They could not afford halls. What that did was create 50 exterior doors in those nine buildings.’’

The project would add 50,000 square feet of new classroom space and would renovate 30,000 square feet of existing space.

The district, he said, anticipates significant savings in terms of energy costs and the gaining of instructional time.

Jungmann said the district plans to use $1 million in capital reserves and borrow up to $1.5 million in a lease-purchase agreement to augment the financing through the bond issue.

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