Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that isn't listed, you can submit your own, by clicking here, or contact the District Education Center at 816-858-5420.

What projects are included?

  • New Middle School #2: Located in the southern attendance area of our District, near Hwy 152 & Platte Purchase on 80 acres of donated land, the proposed new middle school will have capacity for 500-600 students and the potential for future expansion on the site.
  • First Phase of PCHS Rebuild: In support of PCHS’s master plan, the first phase of this rebuild includes 26 classrooms and learning labs; a new main gymnasium complex, cafeteria commons; a new baseball field; and improved parking and traffic patterns.
  • Improvements to Barry School and Pathfinder Elementary: With the New Middle School #2 serving our southern attendance area, Barry School and Pathfinder Elementary would be converted and renovated to support PreK-5th grade environments.
  • District-wide Upgrades: District-wide improvements will be prioritized in each school facility with emphasis on safety and security improvements as well as technology upgrades.

How were the projects determined? 

For more than two years, the PCR-3 Long-Range Facility Plan Task Force reviewed data in order to prioritize our District's future plans. The Long-Range Facility Task Force was made up of parents and community members distributed amongst grade levels and geographic areas, and also included invited members of leaders in the community, staff members, and District leadership. In May 2019, PCR-3's Board of Education approved the Task Force's recommended project priorities. Since then, PCR-3 has completed several subsequent steps, including selecting architect and construction management teams, conducting facility condition assessments and educational adequacy studies, measuring community support, and approving ballot language. Considering educational, financial, and growth management perspectives, the Task Force identified the four priority projects.

What is a “No Tax Increase Bond Issue”? 

A bond issue is a way for governmental entities, such as school districts, to borrow money for large projects at today’s construction costs and today’s interest rates and repay them with future tax proceeds. A bond issue is similar to a home loan, but generally on a shorter repayment schedule (20 years).

How are we able to do this with no tax increase?

The proposed April 2021 Bond Program will be presented at no increase to the current tax levy because of a combination of effective financial management and strong growth in our tax base. The District generates revenue by multiplying our tax rate (currently $5.0193) per $100 of total assessed valuation. Revenue can only increase with either a tax levy increase or tax base (assessed valuation) increase. Because our tax base is increasing and is projected to continue, we do not have to increase our tax levy to finance these projects.

How much has the student population grown? What are the enrollment projections?

Enrollment and Projected Enrollment GraphIn the last 10 years, the District’s enrollment has increased by more than 650 students. PCR-3’s 2020-21 enrollment is 4,205 K-12 students (4,270 including PreK), as of the official Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)  count date in September. This equates to about a 1% decrease from 2019-20, most of which can be attributed to transfers to homeschool and private school this school year due to the COVID pandemic. This is the first time PCR-3 has seen a decrease in enrollment in 22 years (enrollment decreased by 1 student in 1998). Residential building permits continue to remain high and our third-party demographer projects continued growth as shown in the graphic to the right (*dark orange bars show projected enrollment).

Are any of our schools over capacity right now? 

There are no schools currently over their functional capacity in the 2020-21 school year. However, our enrollment projections forecast two elementary schools (Compass & Pathfinder) to have enrollment over their functional capacity by the 2023-24 school year, and Barry School to be at 92% enrollment to functional capacity by the same year. 

Where will the New Middle School #2 be built?

New Middle School Site PlanThe New Middle School #2 will be built on land donated to the District just north of the planned Northland Sporting Complex at the intersection of Highway 152 and Platte Purchase in the southern part of Platte County School District. The 80+ acres of gifted land will allow PCR-3 to not only address our current enrollment and facility needs at the elementary and middle school levels, but also prepare for long-term needs, including a second high school when our enrollment reaches a level that dictates. In the site plan image to the right, the New Middle School #2 is shown on the east side of the property; the shaded “Future Phase” area shows a conceptual master plan for a future high school.
 

How will students be selected to attend the New Middle School #2, as well as Pathfinder Elementary and Barry School as PreK-5th grade buildings?

Students will be selected to attend the new middle school as well as Pathfinder Elementary and Barry School by developing boundaries that define attendance areas. This process will be data-driven, transparent to the community, and approved by the Board of Education. The process of developing boundary lines will follow the bond issue passage in the 2021-22 school year, and will consider logistical issues associated with defining attendance areas such as enrollment balance, socio-economic balance, transportation distance, maintaining neighborhoods and subdivisions, and future growth considerations.

What renovations will be made to Pathfinder Elementary and Barry School?

The improvements to Pathfinder and Barry primarily include site improvements and playground additions. The site improvements will repurpose a portion of the current site for new playground space, add new parking, and create more efficient bus and vehicle traffic flow. Pathfinder Elementary will receive a new playground immediately south of the school. The current playground on the north side of Pathfinder Elementary will be improved and then utilized for Barry students. Barry School will also receive some interior modifications and new furniture to support elementary age-appropriate space.

Why are we rebuilding and not renovating PCHS?

After architects and engineers conducted a facility condition assessment of Platte County High School, it was determined it would be more cost-effective and educationally valuable to rebuild the facility rather than renovate in place. The facility condition assessment included an analysis of the site, building envelope, structural and mechanical components, building maintainability, safety and security, and educational adequacy. Additionally, rebuilding allows for better phasing of the facility improvements while not displacing students and staff during the construction process. 

When was Platte County High School Built?

The original (northernmost) part of the building opened in 1963. The stadium was added in 1974. In 1980, a 6-classroom addition on the south end of the original building opened. In 1991, the second iteration of Platte City Middle School (we’re now on our third iteration) opened. This building is now the southern part of PCHS (from the Welcome Center south). In 1998, a no-tax increase bond issue was passed which included the following for PCHS: air conditioning, a 6-classroom addition, auditorium, multi-purpose room, and various renovations. In 2001, the Wilson Auditorium opened, and the stadium underwent renovations including installing retired seats from Kauffman Stadium as well as a new press box, track, and PA system. In 2001, a no tax increase bond issue also passed which included PCHS music rooms and cafeteria expansion. In 2004, a bond issue was passed which connected the then PCHS to the then Platte City Middle School to create one high school with 45 classrooms. In 2008, an additional music room was added. Paxton School (originally built as a middle school in 1974, with other renovations and additions) was annexed with renovations in 2015 to become part of PCHS. 

When are future phases of the PCHS rebuild planned? What do they entail?

PCHS Complete Rebuild Site PlanFuture phases of the Platte County High School rebuild will depend on the available net bonding capacity over the next several years. The available bonding capacity is impacted by district-wide assessed valuation and current debt. The goal is to seek another “no tax levy increase” bond issue within four years of the completion of Phase 1 if bond capacity is available. This would require approval from the PCR-3 Board of Education and District voters. If PCR-3’s assessed valuation continues to grow at anticipated rates, and the District makes debt payments per the current schedule, it is possible to seek approval of the next phase of the PCHS rebuild in less than four years.

The next phase of the PCHS rebuild will involve deconstructing the existing PCHS structure and will provide approximately 134,000 square feet of classroom, administrative, fine arts, and media center space, as well as traffic flow improvements. An additional future phase would add new parking, stadium upgrades, and site improvements. If the estimated cost for the additional work to complete the rebuild is higher than the available bonds within this timeframe, the Board of Education could elect to complete the PCHS rebuild over multiple phases. 

Will the future phases of the PCHS rebuild require a tax increase?

The District’s desired approach is to improve or construct needed facilities without asking voters to consider a tax levy increase. We will continue to analyze our financial ability to fund future projects as data and information is available. If a tax increase should ever be necessary to fund a building project, it would require voter approval.

Where does our tax levy currently rank compared to other districts? Where will it rank if this bond issue passes?

Tax Levy TableThe District tax levy is one of the lowest in the Kansas City Metro area, as shown in the graphic below. The total tax levy rate is composed of $3.4624 for operating, $1.1383 for debt service and $0.4186 for capital projects. This rate is applied to $100 of assessed valuation. Source: DESE. As this is a no tax levy increase bond issue, Platte County School District tax levy will remain the same if this issue passes. 

What is the timeline for construction?

The projects are currently in the schematic design and design development process. If the bond issue is approved by District voters, the projects are anticipated to follow the timeline below:

  • First Phase of PCHS Rebuild: Completion planned for December of 2022.
  • New Middle School #2: Completion planned for Fall 2023 at the start of the 2023-24 school year.
  • Pathfinder Elementary and Barry School Improvements: Completion planned for Fall 2023 at the start of the 2023-24 school year.
  • District-wide Upgrades: Completion planned for Fall 2023 at the start of the 2023-24 school year.

Will students be displaced during construction?

The projects in this bond program are being planned so that students and staff will not be displaced or relocated to temporary facilities due to construction activities. Future phases of Platte County High School’s rebuild will likely require classroom relocations as the existing building begins deconstruction. However, the classroom spaces created by Phase 1 of PCHS Rebuild, along with classrooms in Paxton Center, will allow for much of that relocation until all future phases are complete. 

When will the District build another high school?

When the District will build another high school is not determined by date, but by need based on student enrollment as well as financial feasibility. Within our Long-Range Facility Plan planning criteria, the optimal high school size (enrollment) for student/staff success and operational efficiency is 1,400-1,600 students. The District was gifted approximately 80 acres near Highway 152 and Platte Purchase in 2017. This site has been master planned for this bond program’s New Middle School #2 and a future second high school when enrollment and financial feasibility dictates.

To build a second high school before enrollment justifies would require us to ignore needs in other areas of our district and would require a substantial tax levy increase to staff and operate a facility before enrollment growth dictates. It would also limit course offerings, programs, and activities due to reduced economies of scale. Failing to take care of our current needs would impede our ability to address future facility needs.

When is the election?

The election is April 6, 2021.

How do I register to vote?

Patrons may register to vote at the Board of Elections office or at any PCR-3 building. Persons can also register by mail through www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register.aspx.

When is the last day to register to vote?

The deadline to register for the April 6, 2021 election is March 10, 2021.

Where do I vote on April 6?

Your voter registration card will indicate your polling location. You may also visit the Missouri Voter Outreach to find your polling location.

How will this proposal appear on the ballot?

Shall Platte County R-III School District issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $73,000,000 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, repairing, rebuilding, improving, extending, remodeling, renovating, furnishing and equipping new and existing school facilities, including: 

  • constructing and equipping a new middle school;
  • renovating and improving Pathfinder Elementary School and Barry School in order to convert both facilities into elementary schools that will serve Kindergarten through 5th grade students;
  • first phase of renovating and rebuilding Platte County High School; and
  • installing safety and security improvements and technology upgrades in District facilities?

If this question is approved, the District’s debt service tax levy is estimated to remain unchanged at the current debt service tax levy of $1.1383 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation of real and personal property.

What happens if the bond issue doesn't pass?

The ability to address the quality, equity and capacity of our facilities would be delayed. The District will continue to engage our Long-Range Facility Plan Task Force and Board of Education to analyze facility needs from an educational, financial and growth management perspective to determine next steps.