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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Lee’s Summit Voters Approve Bond Issue to Build New MIC

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 8, 2015) –  The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) will operate in a new state-of-the- art facility in Lee’s Summit by 2017 as the result of a $40 million no-tax-increase bond issue that was approved by the community’s voters during the Tuesday, April 7 election.

Established in 2012 at the Summit Technology Academy (STA) in Lee’s Summit, the MIC is a partnership between the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, University of Central Missouri, Metropolitan Community College, and numerous business partners.  Students attending the STA enroll in the program their junior year of high school, and will graduate with an associate degree at approximately the same time they complete their high school education. They go on to finish their four-year degree by enrolling in courses at UCM. While involved in the program, students also participate in paid internships with numerous high-tech Kansas City area businesses, which provide valuable in-demand job skills and help them pay for their college education.

The measure placed before Lee’s Summit voters followed action by the Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education, which on Jan. 22 unanimously approved placement of a $40 million no-tax-increase bond issue on the April 7 ballot. The ballot issue was passed by nearly 80 percent of the public vote. The district only needed a four-sevenths majority vote for approval.

“We owe Lee’s Summit voters tremendous gratitude,” said UCM President Charles Ambrose. “By approving this issue, they are enabling their community and UCM to move forward with a partnership to achieve a shared vision that will have long-standing benefits for the students of this region. This new facility will provide an outstanding setting for producing graduates with skills needed in today’s and tomorrow’s workplace, while also helping students to graduate faster, and with no debt.”

 A major portion of the bond issue included construction of the new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus, estimated at approximately $17.5 million of the $40 million issue. Through their partnership, UCM and the school district will construct and operate the shared facility. Under the plan,
R-7 will pay approximately 40 percent of the cost for the new building with UCM paying the remaining 60 percent, through the 20-year lease agreement. Based on the agreement, Lee’s Summit R-7 will be the sole owner of the building which will house Summit Tech / Missouri Innovation Campus (STA / MIC) as well as UCM programs currently offered at UCM-Lee’s Summit (UCM Summit Center), which is currently located just south of Summit Technology Academy.

The shared facility will reduce operating expenses for the R-7 School District, allowing the district to move STA / MIC from leased space into a building owned by the school district. The R-7 School District has leased space for Summit Tech at a favorable rate due to a tax abatement for a local business center that dates back to the late 1990s. This low-cost lease will expire when the business facility comes onto the tax rolls in 2018, and R-7 officials have been looking for an alternative that will be both more affordable and designed specifically for the growing educational programs. Due to the anticipated increase in rental costs with the expiration of the tax abatement, it is estimated that construction of the shared facility would save approximately $9 million for the school district over the next 20 years.

R-7 Superintendent David McGehee, noted, “We are looking forward to breaking ground for the new school and getting to work on the improvements to our other schools within the next few months. Thanks to voter approval of this bond issue, we are able to protect our district’s investment in our current schools and expand our nationally recognized Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus. Especially exciting is our opportunity to partner with the University of Central Missouri for the new Summit Tech and MIC. It is definitely a win-win when you can expand this type of successful program for students while saving money for our taxpayers.”

Approximately $5.44 million within the bond issue funds improvements at numerous R-7 schools. Such improvements affect all schools in the district, although they vary according to school. They encompass efforts such as enhanced ADA access and gym renovation and expansion; track upgrades and repairs; basement renovation; restroom, kitchen and cafeteria renovation; science classroom renovation; health room renovation; improved parking; and playground upgrades and replacement of deteriorating play equipment. Work also includes maintenance projects related to flooring, carpet, ceilings, painting, roofing, paving, mechanical, doors, windows, backflows, water sanitizing and masonry.

The final component of the bond issue includes an approximately $3 million global contingency, totaling close to 4.7 percent of the overall $64 million in projects (including R-7 funding through the $40 million bond and University of Central Missouri’s investment of $24 million, through the lease agreement, which also includes the new space for UCM-Lee’s Summit).

The school improvements and maintenance projects will begin soon with the majority of projects complete by either fall 2015 or fall 2016. The new STA/MIC building will not be completed until 2017.