$120 Million In Improvements Proposed For Fort Smith Schools

Photo courtesy of the Fort Smith Public School District.

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — A proposed budget has been created for improvements, renovations and additions to Fort Smith Schools.

The proposal includes spending $43.8 million in renovations and expansion to Southside High School, $37.4 million in renovations to Northside High School, $13.7 million into a Career and Technology Center that would be completed by renovating an existing building, $10.4 million in safety-related renovations at Barling, Cook, Woods and Morrison Elementary Schools, $9.6 million in renovations to Darby Junior High School, $5.5 million in safety and security, and $1.6 million for technology, a news release states.

Additionally, $863,575 in proposed for staffing including hiring seven nurses, three school resource officers, a grant writer and giving nearly a two percent raise to staff, the release also states.

According to the release, the total for the projects are a bit more than $120 million, or a 6.888 mills increase. That would raise the millage rate to 43.3 mills from 36.5 mills. Administration is expected to ask for a reduction at the meeting on March 12 to make the increase 5.558 mills. This would mean for every $1,000 of assessed real estate value, resident would pay a little more than $58.

A group of 57 Fort Smith residents volunteered more than 900 hours total, for five weeks, to draft the proposal, the release states.

The school board will vote on the millage increase at a special meeting on Monday (March 12) at 5:30 at Building B of the Service Center Complex, 3205 Jenny Lind Road.