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Bentonville School Board approves $1.5 million remodeling project

by Mary Jordan | February 17, 2021 at 7:30 a.m.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVE PEROZEK The Bentonville School Board gives a standing ovation for school district teacher of the year Marisa Snow (left), a counselor at Barker Middle School, during the board's meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15.

BENTONVILLE -- The School Board on Tuesday approved $1.5 million in remodeling projects at Washington Junior High School.

The board voted 7-0 in favor of the guaranteed maximum price for phase two of the school's remodel.

The plan for the overall project was initially approved by the the board in December 2019 for more than $1.6 million, according to a memo from Paul Wallace, facilities director.

Phase one of the remodel was completed in the the summer, Wallace said.

The initial phase of the project included a complete kitchen renovation, refinishing and sealing the gym floor, upgrading door hardware, new bathroom partitions and a new retention masonry wall on the west sidewalk and parking area, according to supporting documents.

The total cost for phase one was $276,000, according to the documents.

Phase two of the project will include a renovation of the physical education and athletic locker rooms, replacing the building's main electrical switchgear, converting a science classroom into an art classroom and installing retractable visitor bleachers, according to the documents.

The next phase of the project will be supervised by Flintco Construction of Springdale and Hight Jackson Architects of Rogers, according to the documents.

"We want to try to get started on this project in early March," Wallace said.

The project is anticipated to be complete in July, according to the documents.

In other news, the district will be opening an elementary school for the 2022-23 school year at 5301 S.W. Barron Road, said Leslee Wright, communications director.

"Right now, we're a year-and-a-half away from opening the school," said Don Hoover, student services executive director.

The district is beginning to consider a new zone for the school, Hoover said.

Potentially impacted schools include Centerton Gamble, Evening Star, Osage Creek and Willowbrook elementary schools, according to documents. The schools are anticipated to decrease enrollment based on current zone enrollment and projected growth.

Adjustments to the Jefferson, Sugar Creek, Cooper and Central Park elementary school zones may be necessary as well, Hoover said.

Enrollment in all 12 of the district's current elementary schools is under capacity but anticipated to continue to grow, according to supporting documents.

Administrators will present a draft for the new elementary school zoning at the April 20 School Board meeting, Hoover said.

The proposed school zones will be available for public review in May, he said, and will be approved in June.

Objectives for developing the school zones include keeping neighborhoods united, considering future growth, taking into account previous school zones and including as many Bella Vista families as possible in Cooper's school zone, Hoover said.

"We try to keep neighborhoods together," said Debbie Jones, superintendent.

Jones also recognized Bentonville police officers Onan Castro and Cpl. John Loncarevic with the district's Extra Mile Award for their brave, expedient and professional responses as school resource officers earlier in the month when a student brought a gun to Bentonville High School.

Loncarevic said the true hero was a student brave enough to report a fellow student had a gun on campus.

"I have to go back to the student who came forward," he said. "That's the person who saved the day right there."

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Remain Informed

Audio recordings of Bentonville School Board meetings are available through iTunes by searching for “Bentonville Public Schools.” Podcasts of previous meetings are also featured on iTunes and at http://podcast.bentonvillek12.org/ .

Source: Bentonville School District

Mary Jordan can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWAMaryJ.

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