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How is This Year's Bentonville Millage Proposal Different?

BENTONVILLE, AR -- The Bentonville School District is preparing for a third attempt to pass a millage proposal for a second high school. Is the third time the charm?
BENTONVILLE, AR -- The Bentonville School District is preparing for a third attempt to pass a millage proposal for a second high school. Is the third time the charm?

"We are right now on the stage where everything really starts to hit home."

The September 17 millage election is drawing near in the Bentonville School District.

"I think we've got it down to a price that really is about as good as it's going to get," said Superintendent Michael Poore.

Last year's proposal for a second high school was rejected by voters, so how is this year's proposal different?

"It went from $130-million down to $86-million, and then the 86 million got reduced by another $13-million by a state grant... One of the biggest aspects was they felt like we needed to cut down on the athletic issue."

The second high school here in Centerton would have its own track, baseball, softball, soccer fields and indoor facilities for basketball and wrestling. But, under this new proposal, both schools would share Bentonville High's football stadium."

"Just by cutting out the stadium, we've basically saved just under $17-million."

But Superintendent Poore explains it is not just athletics seeing cuts in this new proposal.

"Culinary arts and an automotive shop, we also were looking to remodel our current high school... Trying to upgrade our facilities and transportation department... We had HVAC systems, heating and air conditioning units, and then finally we had a component of technology... These reductions are not easy to deal with. I mean, they're all things that in many ways I think could have helped us move forward. But, we also understand that we have to get to a cost that everyone can agree to and support."

For many voters, choosing whether to cast a ballot in support does comes down to cost.

"On a $100,000 house, it's going to be just a little less than $5 a month... It had been just a little over $10, so we've cut it in half."

And this time around, Poore hopes to see the second high school approved.

"We need to have every person in the community stand behind this."

Early voting for this millage election starts September 10 and election day is September 17. Of the 14 polling locations, visit the Bentonville School District or Benton County website to find where to cast your ballot.

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