Cassville school proposing $4 million bond issue in April

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Vision 150 celebrates past with a vision for future

Proposition Vision 150 is a ballot measure aimed to provide Cassville schools with necessary fund to address capital projects the will offer new and expand educational opportunities.

The projects on the list include the Early Childhood Center, renovation of facilities, learning and innovation, ADA accessible playgrounds, security and roof and general maintenance.

Vision 150 is about the district celebrating 150 years of Cassville schools and the vision for the next 150 years.

The first project is to allow the district to build and expand early childhood programs including Parents as Teachers (PAT) and the Pre-School and Kinder-Academy.

These programs need additional space for students and activities that aim to give the youngest students the best start at learning and life readiness skills.

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said if the ballot is passed, the first priority is to expand opportunity and services for early childhood programs.

“Some of the initial design work is already started,” he said. “We have been working with teachers with how the space should be played out and what it could look like.”

Asbill said the actual breaking of ground and pouring of concrete would probably start around July.

“If the ballot passes in April, there is a 45-day window for paperwork,” he said. “Then, the design phase needs to be completed and approved, after that the bid packages have to be sent out. The bid packages take about 30 days, as well.”

Asbill said because this project will roll into the next school year, there will be challenges.

“There are always challenges when there are construction projects during the school year,” he said. “Things will have to be moved around, and we have a tentative plan of how we will implement the construction phase that will limit as much interruption to the primary building as possible.”

Asbill said if the construction can be done by a certain date, that allow for different options when weather becomes an issue.

“We will have some impacts because we will have to move some people around temporarily,” he said. “We anticipate the early childhood portion of the project being about 8-10 months. Of course, that is all dependent on the weather.”

Asbill said this project opens the school to be able to serve more children.

“It opens up our size space and even though the early childhood is for PAT and pre-school, and it will expand the Kinder Academy,” he said. “Then, we have spaces for the special education and intervention programs in the elementary and primary will be able to have their own spaces.”

Asbill said there is no issue currently with the district being able to keep up with the need for those classes.

“Our pre-school has guidelines that we have to follow,” he said. “Any time that we are able to add additional space and teachers gives us the access in the future for more students to participate.”

Asbill said if the ballot issue does not pass in April, projects like security and maintenance will be addressed first. However, the larger capital projects could be postponed inevitably.

“We believe in the projects and on the focus of our early childhood development,” he said. “We would ask voters to look at the Vision 150 proposal, and if they have questions, please let us know.”

Asbill said these are projects that the district believes will make a difference for the next 150 years.

“The focus is on our youngest Wildcats and how we can better serve them to give them better success in middle school and high school grade levels,” he said. “Making a difference in a child’s education all starts in early childhood.”

Asbill said the socioeconomic factors, learning and literacy all become less significant when there is a good early childhood education.

For more information about the Vision 150 no-tax-increase issue, people may call Richard Asbill at 417-847-2221.

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