R31-2020 Bond Issue

R31-2020 Bond Issue Background

updated January 20, 2023

The Rolla 31 School District received voter approval for a $25 million bond issue to address several items from our 10 year facility plan.  The 28.5 cent tax levy appeared on the ballot June 2, 2020.  The bond addresses 5 areas from our facility plan, supported by our Comprehensive School Improvement Planning process. Construction has been steadily progressing for the last 18 months and 2 of the 5 projects are complete.

The 5 areas of focus are as follows:

Safety and Security are at the heart of planning throughout Rolla Public Schools. This funding will allow us to address items beyond our normal operating funds ability. For example, new doors, electronic door access, reconfigured building entries, improved visitor management, and improved communications. Safety and security will be enhanced at all district buildings.

The High School Gym was built when the student population was less than half the current number. This funding will allow for the construction of a new field house with approximately 2000 seats.  The existing gym will be converted to an 800 seat auditorium to serve our excellent fine arts programs. New, larger  instrumental and vocal music classrooms will provide needed space for our programs. A connecting lobby will serve both the field house and auditorium.

The library at Truman Elementary is currently housed in a commons space area that is not conducive to our student’s needs.  This funding would allow for a  more secure entrance by building a new library and administrative office at the front of the building.  The existing office will become support offices and a classroom, and the existing library will be used for common space.

In addition on the south end of the Junior High will allow for new instrumental and vocal music classrooms. The existing band room will be converted to allow for multi-purpose athletic space . These changes will better accommodate the 7th grade programming recently added to the building.

Rolla Technical Institute provides many opportunities for area High School students and adults.  This funding will allow us to expand our automotive technology lab, provide an additional construction trades classroom, add a covered outdoor lab space for our agriculture programs, replace plumbing, and provide for a more secure entry.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What will it cost me? The proposed tax levy will cost $81.23 annually  for an assessed home value of $150,000 or $6.77 monthly.

When would the tax rate increase?  The $6M reserved for these projects in Fund 4 would be used to start the projects, and the voters would not see a tax increase until December, 2021. 

Can the funds be used for other projects? No. The ballot language (see below) is very specific. The Rolla school district strives to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and values transparency in our practices and spending.

Why is the district making these changes?
 Many months of research were conducted by our board and planning committee to determine needs throughout the district. We surveyed the community online and by phone to narrow the scope of the projects. It was determined that these 5 projects should be top priority to move the Rolla School District forward.

Will our taxes be higher than other area schools? Here you can see a comparison between our debt service levy and some of our neighboring and similar-sized districts in the state. We currently have one of the lowest tax rates in the state.

Levy comparison graph

What did my ballot say? Shall Rolla School District No. 31 of Phelps County, Missouri borrow money in the amount of $25,000,000 for the purpose of constructing, renovating, furnishing and equipping school sites, buildings and facilities, including (1) installation of safety and security upgrades throughout district facilities, (2) at Rolla High School, conversion of the existing gymnasium into a performing arts facility and construction of a gymnasium and music classrooms, (3) at Rolla Junior High, construction and renovation of music classrooms, (4) at Truman Elementary, construction of a library and reconfiguration of the front entrance, and (5) at Rolla Technical Institute, renovation of classrooms and restrooms, and issue general obligation bonds for the payment thereof? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the District is estimated to increase $0.285 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property from $0.300 to $0.585 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.
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