The Basehor-Linwood Board of Education Monday night approved a resolution calling for a mail-in ballot election to decide whether or not the district should issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $60 million. The school district will seek approval from voters in February for a no mill increase bond issue for safety and security upgrades around the district, a multi-level classroom addition, multipurpose space, and upgrades to Performing Arts and athletic improvements at Basehor-Linwood High School, expansion of the Early Learning Center with additional pre-K and childcare classrooms, as well as other necessary improvements and renovations to district facilities.
Safety and security upgrades might include installing a reliable phone in each classroom, adding cameras to several buildings, implementing access control doors in the interior of some buildings, and upgrading intercom systems in older buildings.
An enrollment study conducted in 2021 showed that this year’s 5th, 6th, and 7th grade classes could be 250+ students by the time they reach high school, but BLHS has already seen greater growth than predicted.
“We are at a point where we have got to have the space we’ll need at Basehor-Linwood High School for our anticipated increase in class sizes,” Board President Dayna Miller said. “This year’s increase in enrollment at BLHS was greater than we thought it would be, and we are already operating at 85% capacity, so now is the time to put this plan into action. With the Panasonic plant coming to the area, as well as the Open Enrollment law in place next school year, we may see more growth even before the 2027 school year.”
Additional classrooms at the Basehor-Linwood Early Learning Center would allow more students to attend preschool at the facility, as well as make space for district employee childcare classrooms. Preschool experiences ensure health and physical well-being, cognitive development, and social-emotional skills vital to Kindergarten success.
“The bond is set up so there will not be a mill increase (no tax rate increase) in the Bond & Interest fund, which means the bond itself would not cause an increase in taxes,” Superintendent Doug Powers stated. “However, residents’ taxes could still go up due to valuation adjustments by local appraisers, as residents in the district have experienced the last few years. Basehor-Linwood School District will be retiring $43 million in debt before 2030, which will help keep the mill levy flat.”
The district plans to hold informational meetings throughout December and January leading up to the February election to help residents better understand the projects included in the bond, and patrons can find more information about Bond 2024 on the district’s website.