Tuesday, March 22, 2011

TOP STORY >> Beebe schools to renovate

Leader staff writer

The Beebe School Board last week approved renovation plans for the General Cooperative Education and agriculture buildings.

The estimated cost of the remodeling project is $780,000. The state will fund $239,511 to remodel the GCE building and $270,486 to remodel the agriculture building. The school district will spend $281,000 for the renovation projects. Delk Construction will be the construction manager and Lewis Architects Engineers are the architects for the project.

The GCE building will be turned into a physical-education room. New restrooms will be built outside of the building. The agriculture building will be converted into a band room with three classrooms and storage. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by summer.

Board members approved adding a large awning over the courtyard of the $7.5 million career and technical center for $163,000.

School board secretary Harold Davis said it would be more costly to add the awning later. The awning will give students protection from the weather.

Board members approved the purchase of $25,511 for technology. The district will buy a computer, a video camera, printer and a fax machine. The district will be reimbursed for the cost of the new equipment with a workplace-readiness grant.

The board also approved adding a position to the gifted-and-talented program to oversee seventh through 12th-grade students. The new position would also work as an Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science coordinator to help students improve AP and pre-AP science and math test scores.

The coordinator will also help students with testing preparations for ACT and SAT college-entrance exams.

Beebe School District gifted-and-talented coordinator Karla Tarkington was recognized during the school-board meeting as the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education state-educator award winner. Tarkington is also Badger Elementary School principal.

The board also recognized Beebe Middle School sixth-grade gifted-and-talented students Josh Mitchell, Toby Hampton and Carson McNeill. The students won first place in their region during the Economics Arkansas’ Stock Market Game. During the 10-week program the students had an imaginary $100,000 portfolio to manage by trading stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and American Stock Exchange.