Voters Approve Spending $15 Million To Build New School In Tea

Goal is to house more students without increasing class sizes

Voters in the Tea Area School District have approved paying more than $15 million for a new elementary school.

70% of voters were in favor of the measure Tuesday night.  The school district needed 60% to authorize the $15.4 million bond sale for the project.  Now, the project can go out to bid and the school district should know which construction companies will be involved in building the school by January of 2018.  The new K-5 elementary school in southeastern Tea will open in fall of 2019.  It’s being built on land donated by the city.  The tradeoff for the donation is the school’s gymnasium and commons area will be open to residents for activities like walking and playing basketball during non-school hours.

To pay for the new school, starting in 2018, residents’ property tax bills will increase $65 dollars per $100,000 in property valuation each year for the next 25 years.

This will be the district’s third elementary school.  The school board says student population is growing and they need to add a new building because the district is running out of space at its two existing elementary schools.

The school’s name has not been announced yet.  The district also still needs to figure out how boundaries will be redrawn to determine which students attend which schools.

School Board President John Herr told KDLT News he believes voters approved the measure because this is a “straightforward project.”

“It’s in the City of Tea and the need was there to house students without increasing class size,” he says.

The average class size K-2 in the Tea Area School District is around 20 students.  The district currently has around 1,700 students, but in 13 years, when this year’s kindergarteners graduate, officials project that number will be 3,000.

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