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Parent Hopes to Stop 'New School' Plans Before They Start

GRAVETTE, AR -- A mom of three says enrollment numbers show that there is no need to begin discussing plans for a new school.
GRAVETTE, AR -- A Gravette welcome sign describes the town as a community of beauty and progress.

"I heard that we were going to look at building a school in Bella Vista," says Hope Duke, a mother with three kids in the district.

She says progress of that nature might be premature.

"Ya know, I always tell my kids there is a difference between a need and a want," Duke says.

"Right now we don't need a new school."

Superintendent Dr. Richard Page says nothing is official, and as of now, it's merely a discussion among school board members.

But a different roadside sign in the Highlands area of Bella Vista suggests classroom construction is closer than it appears. It reads 'Future Site of Highlands Elementary'.

It would be great if we had the numbers out there to do it, but they just don't." Duke says.

Duke says she got a packet from one board member showing that the district's elementary schools are under capacity.

And, that a new school would cost around $12 million, versus $2 million for added classrooms or renovations.

"We need to be careful with our money," Duke says.

"I didn't realize this was going on...and so, I finally created this Facebook page just to let people know."

The page has 400 members, and the latest post asks for petition signatures, opposing a new school.

"If we don't get it out there, people will wake up one day and it's going to be on a ballot there's going to be an election and they're not even going to know," Duke says.

A potential millage in the making that not everyone is cheering about..

"I think the numbers speak for themselves," Duke says.
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