Camdenton ballot includes bond for new school, security upgrades

Plans for the new Osage Elementary School.

Voters in the Camdenton R-III schools district will have the option to approve a bond issue on the April 2 ballot.

Some money would go toward security upgrades to the district's main campus. Those upgrades include a vestibule where visitors will have to wait to be acknowledged and assessed by a secretary before gaining access to the school.

The bulk of the money would go toward sweeping renovations to Hurricane Deck Elementary and the construction of a brand new Osage Beach Elementary.

Superintendent Tim Hadfield said overcrowding is one reason for the move, but another is the need to provide equal facilities to all the schools.

"Our communities were telling me it shouldn't matter where I live in the district, my child should have the opportunity to experience similar facilities. Similar gymnasium, similar classrooms, similar library and media centers," Hadfield said.

Hadfield said there would be no increase in taxes if the bond is approved. Rather, 11 cents would be taken from one fund, currently used to pay the district's debt, and moved to another to fund the schools (see picture).

"By moving 11 cents out of one fund to the debt service fund the total levy would not increase. If our voters chose to vote yes we could build these buildings, we would do the security upgrades...If they chose to vote no, the tax rate's going to be $2.87 and we won't build the projects," Hadfield said.

Some Osage Beach residents are concerned about the effect the new elementary school would have on their community.

"Increase of traffic, there will probably be several school buses coming in, there will also be special events going on. Plus this is a two lane road coming in here, and there's not other way into this area," Osage Beach resident Rick Stockton said.

If approved, the new school would probably be finished in July of 2015.