Voters must decide on a $8.5 million bond issue for Marshfield school district

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MARSHFIELD, Mo.– Kids in Marshfield, who are on the waitlist for preschool, could soon be getting a new facility to serve them.

If this $8.5 million bond issue passed, the school district will be able to build this one-story building near Edwin Hubble Elementary School.

But is this extra year of learning really that important?

Doctors at the CoxHealth center in Marshfield say preparing to go into kindergarten is a lot more work than you may think.

“Transitioning into kindergarten, I just think the children who have attended the preschool programs are generally maybe a little better off as far as the structured environment,” said Sarah Lewis, a nurse practitioner at the CoxHealth Center in Marshfield.

“A different set of finger paints, or a different art project that involves the outside, the world around them, it really helps with imagination and creativity,” said Dr. Meghan Guthrie-Baker, a family medicine doctor at the CoxHealth Center in Marshfield. “Any sort of exposure a child can get to stimuli outside the home or a schedule outside the home is important.”

“If we can set them with an example of a good behavior, they will kind of try to follow that,” said Lewis.

As of right now, 40 kids are waiting for a spot in preschool.

“My hope would be to not ever have a waitlist,” said Mallory Robertson, principal at Edwin Hubble Elementary School. “If you want your kiddo in preschool, we have a home for them.”

“Our district mission is to prepare each student for a successful future, and a building like this will allow us to start that very very early,” said David Steward, the superintendent at Marshfield.

Steward said learning and education are not the only benefits.

“It’s a benefit for our community because it will provide a place to help attract talent,” said Steward.

However, the tax rate will not increase.

“Our debt service levy is currently 60 cents, per 100 dollars of assessed evaluation, and borrowing money to build this will not raise that 60 cents, so taxpayer in the district won’t see a change in their annual property taxes,” Steward explained.

The building itself will be one floor and it will serve as a storm helter for all of the early childhood centers.

“There will be four early childhood special education classrooms in the new facility and eight preschool classrooms with the option to expand that to twelve,” said Mike Henry, assistant superintendent at Marshfield.

“I’m hoping it passes, it’s been a really neat process to share with my staff, sharing their excitement,” said Robertson.

District leaders are hoping voters will feel the same.

“All of the growth and development that’s happened in Marshfield, I feel like it’s a win for everybody,” said Henry.

This will be on the ballot on April 6th.

Some of the money will also be used to relieve traffic, which has been one of the top issues in the district as well.

If the vote passes, ground would be broken for the preschool by June, with the completion date expected to be August of 2022.

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