In October 2019, the Board of Education adopted an initial long-range facility plan to serve students and families across North Kansas City Schools. The district took a deep look into existing facilities and growth projections to determine where buildings should be updated and/or built to create the best learning environments for students – both now and in the future. As the district continues to grow, it is critical that we build for the future while updating aging buildings, providing top-notch facilities for all of our students, parents and staff.
A facility planning committee has come together to make ongoing updates the existing plan based on new information. Analyzing data from our demographer, bond counsel and Human Resources department, the team prioritizes immediate and future needs. The district also regularly engages staff, students, parents, community members and civic leaders in these important conversations. NKC Schools will move forward with plans that manage a growing student population while also maintaining existing buildings.
In August 2016, district residents approved a zero tax increase $114 million bond package to improve facilities across the district. North Kansas City High School underwent extensive renovations and additions, modernizing the district's oldest facility. With construction spanning several phases, we welcomed the Northtown community back for the "Hornet Housewarming" in March 2020 to celebrate the official opening. This bond also built our newest elementary school, Rising Hill, in the northeast corner of the district to accommodate for rapid expansion in new neighborhoods. Rising Hill is also equipped for a future addition, should growth continue and more space be needed. In fall 2018 with the completion of a brand-new building, Northview Elementary moved just down the street to its new location. Gateway 6th Grade Center opened in the old Northview facility after renovations, providing Oak Park and Staley students with the opportunity to attend in straight feeder patterns.
In June 2020, NKC Schools voters approved a $155 million no tax increase bond program as part of the district's Long-Range Facility Plan. Bond projects span the entire district, accommodating for a growing student population and bringing several aging facilities up to date. This bond made possible the district's Early Education Center, fully opened in fall 2021 to serve hundreds of preschoolers across the district. Brand-new elementary schools will open to Maplewood and Davidson learners in fall 2022, when extensive renovations will welcome back Briarcliff students to their school. This bond also made possible stadium complexes at Oak Park and Winnetonka, bringing equity amongst activities facilities. Other projects included renovations to the Winnetonka library, athletic and academic additions to Staley to accommodate more students, a new student entrance at Oak Park, new playgrounds at seven sites, and deferred maintenance at several buildings.
As we grow, new facilities and upgrades are a continued need throughout the district. In this phase of the Long-Range Facility Plan, proposed improvements include new facilities at Crestview and Nashua, additions to Rising Hill and Chapel Hill, and extensive upgrades to Linden West, Meadowbrook, Clardy and Oakwood Manor. Bond funding would also support two of our oldest facilities, Lakewood and Winnwood, in planning and creating upgraded learning spaces to best meet their needs. Additional support for staff through a zero tax increase levy transfer will ensure we can continue serving as Champions for All Students.
To make these proposed improvements a reality, NKC Schools asked voters to consider a zero tax increase levy transfer and $140 million bond issue on April 5, 2022. Both measures were approved.
Davidson (left) and Maplewood at facility planning meetings in 2019
Important Note: Changes to facility plans are possible due to forces beyond the control of NKC Schools such as economic shifts, weather delays, etc. The district will periodically provide updates on the status of projects so stakeholders are well-informed of progress.