LITTLE RIVER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – In less than three weeks, residents in Foreman, Ark. will vote on a property tax that, if passed, would help fund a new high school.
“We are currently the oldest high school in the DeQueen-Mena Educational Co-op, so it’s time,” said Foreman Schools Superintendent Pat Tankersly.
The current school was built in 1958. This year, the district received $5.1 million from the state for a new facility, but Tankersly said another $7.4 million is needed.
If the tax passes, it’s projected the new facility would open in 2021.
Tankersly added that maintaining the current, aging facility is a challenge. “The HVAC units, electrical, sewer, all of those things are just beginning to wear out.”
The new facility would also be more secure, according to school officials. Currently, the sprawling school has 26 entrances. The new facility would have just six, and a security system would be in place. “At the point now, we can’t lock buildings because kids are in and out all day long changing classes. So, that will allow us to be able to monitor students and monitor people coming in the front door,” Tankersly said.
If passed, Foreman residents with a home assessed at $100,000 per year would pay an extra $170 per year. It’s money, Tankersly said, would be well spent. “We have to think long range, and we have to secure our future for the next 50 years, not just for our kids right now, but for our future.”
Election day is September 10.