Bentonville Kicks Off Construction For New Schools

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - Administrators at the Bentonville School District addressed the increasing student population by breaking ground for a new elementary and middle school.

Construction on the $38.5 million project got underway in southwest Bentonville on Featherston Road during a ceremony Wednesday morning (Jan. 27).

"We ran a dairy farm here on the land, and so it's special to me," said Bryan Rose, a Bentonville resident who used to live on the property. "I spent many, many years here, a lot of great memories, but I'm exceptionally happy that it's going to be a school."

His told his 5-year-old daughter about his time growing up on the farm and how she could go to school there when it is opened in the fall of 2017.

"She's kind of learning the concept that the land I grew up on she'll one day be going to school there," said Rose. "So it's very special to talk about that with her, and see the excitement on her face."

Enrollment at Bentonville Public Schools for the 2015-16 school year increased three and a half percent from the previous year.

Superintendent Michael Poore said the new additions would not come with a tax increase for residents. The district funded a majority of the project with a secondary lien.

"All of our buildings at the elementary, and even at the middle school level, are at capacity or near capacity," said Poore. "So this is timely and we're also doing this without having to come to the taxpayer for additional resources, which we're very proud of."

Rose said he hated to see his playground go, but expressed his excitement for what's in store for the Bentonville community.

"Things change, and you move forward," said Rose. "Today is a good example of how change happens, and this change is absolutely wonderful. It's a good change."