|Updated: 1/30/2011 8:59 am
||Published: 1/30/2011 8:52 am
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - The North Little Rock School District has wrapped up a series of community meetings to talk about its strategic facilities plan.
It took several meetings, surveys, and studies throughout the district with teachers, parents, staff, and students but finally consultants have come up with a 5 and 10 year plan to build news schools, renovate existing ones, and close or combine other schools.
“It's about what we are doing now, how we can improve that, and how do we get there, so that's really what the strategic plan is,” explains consultant Kevin Greischar. “We're going to set a base, see what we need to do to get there, and it's not something that's going to take a short time. It's going to take a little bit longer to get there. That's why we have a 5 year plan and a 10 year plan.”
North Heights Elementary is just one of the handful of schools facing closure but parents say, they're excited about the proposed plans.
Parent Jeanie Lee said, “I am very hopeful for what the district does because we really enjoy the district we love the school.”
“I like the 5 year plan because it's quick because we see results a lot quicker,” said another parent, Diane Huffington.
Both plans cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of the money would come from the state and the rest from tax payers. But the community has spoken and creating new, high tech, state-of-the-art learning environments for children is what they want.
District spokesperson Shara Brazear said, “There's something for everyone in both plans elementary students middle school students and high school all schools would be effected in our school district.”
A final recommendation will be made to the North Little Rock School Board in March but it's up to the voters to pass the mill increases in November to get either plan going. If the voters do not pass a plan, the school district is in jeopardy of being placed on distress. The state could then come in and start slashing programs to cut costs, forcing the district to make changes to get buildings back up to standards.
If the voters do choose one of the proposed plans, construction could begin in the fall of 2012.