JCPS officials break down costs to build, operate second high school

JCPS officials break down costs to...

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jefferson City Public Schools Board of Education members and local residents learned more about what it would take to build and operate a second high school Monday.

ABC 17 News reported last month, JCPS is considering putting a $130 million bond issue and a 55-cent operating tax levy on the April 2017 ballot to open a second high school.

The board passed a vote of confidence in moving forward with the potential ballot issues, but has yet to officially approve putting anything on the April ballot.

Several residents also spoke in support of the plans for an additional high school.

The new high school would cost about $84 million to build, according to JCPS Chief Financial Officer Jason Hoffman.

The proposed major renovations to the current high school including a new gym and walkway space between JCHS and Nichols Career Center would cost an additional $44 million.

The two projects would cost a total of about $128 million, which is an increase of about $12 million since the district's last estimate two years ago due to inflation.

Superintendent Larry Linthacum said it was in the district's best interest to build a second high school now as local professionals agree construction costs are only rising.

"What we're seeing in talking with contractors that we work with are telling us that construction costs are going up since the end of the recession at about 4-5 percent a year," Michael Kautz with ACI Boland Architects said.

The 55-cent operating tax levy would generate about $5.5 million a year.

About $2.5 million would go toward the cost to operate both high schools including the cost to hire about 27 additional teachers for the new school.

The remaining $3 million would go toward needed K-12 resources such as new textbooks and technology.

The board has until January to put the bond issue and operating tax levy on the April ballot.




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