The Lee’s Summit (Mo.) school district has won approval of a $40 million bond proposal that will pay for upgrades that include construction of a technology academy and innovation center.
Construction on a new facility to house the Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus will start later this year; the building is scheduled to open in August 2017. The existing academy and innovation campus is housed in leased space.
The facility will be shared with the University of Central Missouri. Lee's Summit will pay 40 percent of the construction cost--about $17.5 million--and the university will pay the remaining 60 percent.
Lee’s Summit will be the sole owner of the facility, and Central Missouri will pay for its space through a rental agreement.
The new building will reduce the district's operating expenses; because of a tax abatement, it has been leasing space for the technology academy at a favorable rate, but the abatement expires in 2018, and Lee's Summit wanted to find a permanent home for the program before then. Being able to own the new building will save the district an estimated $9 million over the next 20 years.
The bonds approved by voters also will pay for other improvements in the areas of classroom instruction, safety and security, health and wellness, accessibility, special education, and playground equipment.