School Board Weighs Options For Building Improvements

Aug 18, 2014

Little Rock School Board officials are deliberating over whether to re-purpose some elementary schools for older kids after the results of a study from a private consultant recommended repairs and expansions costing up to $500 million.

Carl Baxmeyer of Fanning-Howey architecture and engineering firm of Indianapolis, says his company found some elementary schools might be put to better use.

“The taxpayers of Little Rock ought to be happy and pleased with the effort their maintenance department has put forth. These last few years have been tough financially. The board of directors and the district had to make some tough decisions about where to maintain schools,” said Baxmeyer.

According to Baxmeyer, the schools are in good condition and necessary repairs are due to age.

“We have a little bit of excess capacity at the elementary level. We’re over crowded at the high school level, we’re over crowded at the middle school level, but we have some extra seats at the elementary level. It seemed to make sense to look at rather than closing the building, not using it, what could we do for the children of Little Rock,” he added.

The plan recommends a new middle school in West Little Rock, a replacement for McClellan High school in Southwest Little Rock and the relocation of Cloverdale Middle School, as well as other expansions within existing schools.

The Little Rock School Board met to discuss possible changes late last week and will continue to review possibilities.