A new traditional high school in west Little Rock and expansion of Robinson High to accommodate 1,500 students were among the projects approved by voters in the Little Rock and Pulaski County Special school districts Tuesday night.
In Little Rock, $300 million for new schools and other projects was OK’ed through extension of district bonds by 19 years to 2052. Similar measures had failed at the ballot box twice before. This time, 76 percent of voters approved the measure.
The PCSSD’s request to refinance current debt and issue new bonds for future school expansions and remodels was approved by 64 percent of voters.
Property owners in the districts are not expected to see tax rate increases, but the Little Rock measure now extends the district’s 12.4 debt service mills from 2033 to 2052.
The vote enables LRSD officials to move ahead with expansion plans including a new 1,200-student high school in west Little Rock adjacent to Pinnacle View Middle School; a replacement school for Cloverdale Middle, Meadowcliff Elementary and Baseline Elementary serving K-8 on the site of the former McClellan High School; new classrooms replacing portable buildings and a new field house at Central High; and other needed remodels and upgrades across the district.
The county district’s master plan includes a $35 million expansion at Robinson High in west Little Rock, just down Highway 10 from the site of the future LRSD high school; a $15 million multi-purpose facility at Mills University Studies High; $11 million for a new indoor practice facility, baseball and softball fields at Maumelle High; $5 million for expansion at Baker Elementary accommodating 700 students, and other modifications and improvements across the district.
In a statement, PCSSD superintendent Dr. Charles McNulty said, “PCSSD is grateful for the voters who showed up today and who showed up last week to vote in the annual school election. Thanks to [their] approval of this ballot initiative, we can now move forward on our master plans to make improvements across the district. This is a major win for our students, staff and stakeholders.”