Hope School Board approves Kinco Constructors for Agri Building redo, selects Milus to take seat of Viney Johnson
Above photo: Lance Wright, Senior Project Manager at Kinco Constructors of Little Rock speaks to the Hope School Board Monday afternoon about the upcoming redo of the Agricultural Sciences building at Hope High School. 

At a called meeting of the Hope Public Schools Board Monday afternoon at the district's administration building, two unanimous votes accepted the proposal by Kinco Constructors of Little Rock to undertake the work of transforming the Agricultural Sciences building at Hope High School and selected Janice Milus to serve out the remaining term of the late Viney Johnson.

This meeting as well as a personnel meeting can both be seen in their entirely on the Hope Public Schools' youtube channel. 

At the meeting, Superintendent Jonathan Crossley briefed those attending on the sources of funding for the project, which will cost $2,079,284 and will involve a complete renovation of the current building as well as an expansion of its square footage. 

Crossley said about $660,000 in funding has come from an anonymous donor who became aware of the need after the district’s voters failed to approve a property tax increase last year. A state partnership deal will contribute $467,000.  The remaining $952,284 will be taken from a $4.6 million building fund that the district has been contributing to for the past four years. 

Crossley said of the choices that went into the plans for the project, “It’s not like it’s a frivolous Cadillac version but this is a good version that gives us a renovation we feel good about. We feel comfortable with the high quality materials, and obviously the high quality labor.” 

Kinco’s Senior Project Manager Lance Wright told the board the work can begin as soon as the start of the summer break. The duration of the project will depend, he said, on the speed with which electrical equipment that regularly takes 20 weeks to arrive, can be put in place.  Board member David Powers asked whether the project could be finished in time for Thanksgiving. Wright said he did not see a reason it could not be as long as the electrical equipment comes when expected. 

Board member Jimmy Courtney made the motion to approve the Kinco Constructors bid for the project. It was seconded by board member Kathryn Dickerson. The vote by a raise of hands was unanimous approval. 

In the same meeting, board members interviewed two candidates to fill the remaining term of the late Viney Johnson, a long-time Hope School Board member representing Zone 1 who passed away at the end of last month.  

First, Lakesha Jones, a daughter of Johnson and a nurse, was interviewed. Then Janice Milus, a past Hope School Board member and licensed cosmetologist was interviewed. After about a twenty-minute period of executive session, a period of time when the board members discussed their choice with no press or audience members present, the board came back into public session and voted unanimously to select Miles. 

Milus will fill Johnson’s seat until the May 2025 Hope School Board elections. 

Correction: Previous versions of this story misspelled Janice Milus' last name. SWARK.Today regrets the error.