Friday, April 26, 2013

TOP STORY >> State to pay little to help schools here

Leader staff writer

More than 90 school districts are splitting $130 million in state money to help with new construction and remodeling, but only three area districts are reaping any of the benefits.

No money is going to either Cabot or the Pulaski County School District. The Little Rock School District won’t be getting any of this money either.

The Lonoke School District is slated to get $1.1 million to replace the heating and air system in the primary school; Beebe School District is getting $12,941 to install safety equipment in the middle school; and the England School District is set to get $116,400 to replace the roof at its high school’s fine arts building and another $15,500 to upgrade the lighting at its elementary and high school.

All total, that comes not much more than $1.11 million.

So where is the money going?

The North Little Rock School District, undergoing a major renovation, construction and consolidation plan is getting about $4 million.

Bryant School District is getting about $10.8 million, while Benton is slated for $170,000.

The single largest outlay is just over $15 million to the Bentonville School District for a new high school, followed by $5.7 million to the Brookland School District for a new middle school and $5.3 million to the Melbourne School District for a new elementary school.

The $130 million in state funding is expected to help complete 177 school projects across the state this next year. But the state still has more than $200 million worth of need projects on its 2013-2015 academic facilities approved project list.