FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) The Fort Smith School Board unanimously confirmed a millage proposal to put forward to voters for school improvements.
The school board passed the proposal Monday with a 7-0 vote.
The city will vote on the millage in May.
The proposal is to increase the millage 5.558 mills to fund school improvement projects that will come to a total cost of $121.65 million. The new millage rate will be 42.058 if voters approve the proposal.
The improvements will include the following:
- Safety and security enhancements to grade schools, including Barling, Cook, Morrison and Woods. Enhancements include renovating open classrooms into secure, enclosed classrooms, as well as access control, alarms,lighting accessibility controlled access systems at every campus.
- Safety and security enhancements and renovations to Northside and Southside high schools, which include: a new ninth grade center for each school, new cafeteria and kitchen at Southside, expanded cafeteria at Northside, two additional storm shelters for each school, a new 2,500 seat competition gymnasium for each school and remodeled classrooms and offices.
- A new career and technology center with specialized lab spaces and classrooms for classes in health care, information technology, manufacturing and other programs.
- Renovations to Darby and Ramsey junior high schools, including secure entrances and remodeled offices and classrooms.
The Fort Smith School District has not had a millage increase in over 30 years.
A group called Citizens Committee presented a proposal focused on a $120 million dollar project to improve Fort Smith Schools over the next five years and beyond.
The district has the lowest millage rate in the entire county.
The committee’s proposal came after almost seven months and more than 3,000 hours of work.
If the millage is passed, a person who’s property is valued at $100,000 the tax increase would be around $9 a month.