School facilities approved
ARKANSAS–The Arkansas Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation Commission onWednesday approved 219 projects at Arkansas public schools that include $188.7million in state funding to improve the education environment for the state’s nearly460,000 students.
Examples of approved projects include a new roof at Goza Middle School inArkadelphia, five new kindergarten classrooms at Springhill Elementary in Bryant, anew high school in Cabot, and an improved heating and air system at Dover High School.
The three-member commission met at the Department of Education auditorium in LittleRock. The members are Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell, Department of Finance andAdministration Director Richard Weiss, and Arkansas Development and Finance Authority President Mac Dodson. The approval was unanimous.
Most of the projects will begin during fiscal 2012, which starts July 1, 2011. Somewon’t begin until fiscal 2013.
Kimbrell complimented the work by the staff of Dr. Charles Stein, the director ofthe Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation.
“Dr. Stein and his staff has exhibited an attitude of openness and willingness toserve and help the public schools of Arkansas,” Kimbrell said.
The facilities division evaluated each application from districts. There were 83proposed projects rejected.
The commissioner also noted the economic impact the building projects have had inArkansas and how they have contributed toward improving education for public schoolstudents throughout the state.
Significant state funding of public school facilities followed the program’screation during the 2005 legislative session. Through April 8, the state hascontributed $411.9 million toward school facilities. There have been 814 projectscompleted. Another 334 are in progress. Local property taxes also contribute towardthe projects.
The program helps ensure that students attend schools with adequate and equitablefacilities, as required by the state Supreme Court’s Lake View decision in 2002.
The complete list of projects approved Wednesday are available at http://arkansasfacilities.arkansas.gov/
Source: Arkansas Department of Education
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