Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TOP STORY >>Millage passes vote Tuesday in Beebe

Leader staff writer

Voters in the Beebe School District have approved a millage extension that will help pay for construction of an early childhood building. The unofficial Tuesday vote to extend the millage was 386 for and 105 against.

The extension will allow the school district to pay $500,000 for eight acres and a 42,000-square-foot sewing factory on Holly Street. By using the steel and concrete in the building, district officials hope to save about $1.5 million over the cost of building from the ground up.

Steve Elliott, the architect who frequently works for the district, has estimated that by using the existing frame and concrete slab, the new school will cost $100 a foot instead of $135. Not counting McRae, which became part of the district by consolidation, the new school will be the first in Beebe to be built off the main campus.

The project is expected to cost about $10 million, with the district paying 37 percent and the state paying 63 percent.
The millage extension will support a $12.2 million bond issue. Of that amount, $6.6 million will be used to retire existing bonds. The new bond issue will be retired in 2037, about 16 years after those it will replace.

Dr. Belinda Shook, superintendant for the district, waited at the courthouse for the results and said she was grateful to all the volunteers who helped promote the extension.

“I’m obviously very pleased that our community supports our schools as much as they do,” she said.