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Prairie Grove School District 46 Board to vote on summer projects, award bids

Officials say repairs and upgrades are needed

The Prairie Grove School District 46 Board will vote Thursday on a multimillion-dollar package to upgrade its elementary school.
The Prairie Grove School District 46 Board will vote Thursday on a multimillion-dollar package to upgrade its elementary school.

The Prairie Grove School District 46 Board will vote Thursday on a multimillion-dollar package to upgrade its elementary school.

The board will vote on the matter during a special meeting in the school library, 3225 Route 176.

District 46 Superintendent John Bute said bids were accepted Feb. 12 to determine the scope of the summer construction projects.

These proposed projects were developed based on a master facility plan by CannonDesign, a 10-year health and life safety review and “our district’s desires to move toward a 21st century learning environment,” according to a memo sent to board members.

Four proposals will be considered: Base, Alternate 1, Alternate 2 or both Alternate 1 and 2.

The Base proposal ($3,342,834) includes creating one centralized library for both the elementary and middle schools, air conditioning in the library and new family/consumer science and science, technology, engineering and math spaces in the middle school library.

The Alternate 1 proposal ($3,499,850) would add a single point of entry to the elementary school and include the Base upgrades.

Alternate 2 ($3,658,782) would add air conditioning to elementary school classrooms and include the Base upgrades. Alternate 1 and 2 ($3,808,250) includes everything.

Bute said he hopes the board approves a proposal.

He said the district is waiting until after a project is approved to determine the start date for the 2019-20 school year.

It could be set for the week of
Aug. 12, like Community High School District 155, or the week of Aug. 19, like other area feeder schools.

The board also will vote on whether to change its policy regarding fund balances.

The board currently won’t allow the school to have less than 90 days of cash reserves, but it could lower that to 60 days.

“We were looking at how much money we had available to use on capital projects,” Bute said. “If we modified that policy from 90 days to 60 days, it freed up more money for the capital projects. Some of the board members wanted to see a change in the policy before they made any kind of decision on the projects. ... It would free up more cash.”

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