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Wyandotte County voters show overwhelming support for public schools

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Parents are celebrating voter approval of a $235 million bond issue to pay for upgrading schools in Wyandotte County.

Arrowhead Middle School is one of several that will undergo renovations.

Overwhelming support for KCK Public Schools surprised even district administrators here, as nearly eight out of ten voters approved the bond measure.

Money will be used to tear down old schools, build new ones and add improvements to existing buildings.

The average age of schools in the district is 57 years.

Leaders say it was important that approval of the bonds would not increase the property tax rate for homeowners in the district.

"We were glad we didn’t put any additional burden on the taxpayers," said David Smith, chief of staff of the school district. "That was incredibly important to our board of education. We were glad we could do that. But it would have been really hard for us. We would have had to figure it out because our kids deserve it and we always do what our kids need."

Bonds will pay for new roofs at some schools and repaired plumbing and other maintenance.

Four new schools will be built, and other schools that need new kitchens or playgrounds will get them.

One school will be converted into an early childhood center and other upgrades will focus on college and career support for students.