Bentonville To Hold Another Millage Election For Second High School

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Bentonville may soon build a second high school after all.

The Bentonville School Board voted Monday night to progress with plans for a millage increase election for a second high school. Administrators said they plan to put the measure on the ballot sometime in late 2013.

Board members passed the proposal 6-1, with Rudy Upshaw the only member to vote against it.

School district officials will spend the next several months mounting a public campaign to educate Bentonville residents about the proposed millage increase. No specific number increase has been decided.

The move comes a week after the school district released the findings of a survey asking Bentonville residents if they would support a second high school.

Administrators sent out almost 4,000 postcard surveys:

-2,334 said they would support building a second high school

-682 said they would support an “alternative solution”

-923 said they would not support building a second high school.

Voters rejected the 6.7 millage increase for a second high school last June, by a vote of 5,597 to 4,033. The 2,000-student school would have been built in Centerton. Superintendent Michael Poore believes it was because of the cost.

The school district survey asked voters under which circumstances they would vote for a millage increase to build a new high school. Most answered they support a second high school, but at a discounted rate from the proposed 6.7 tax millage increase proposal on the table in June.

The Bentonville School District has seen major growth in recent years, including at its overcrowded high school, which now enrolls about 4,000 students.

Administrators have said the district needs a solution as soon as possible to ease the overcrowding in Bentonville Public Schools.