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Facilities plan given board okay

By Ken McLemore

HOPE – On the heels of a public presentation on infrastructure planning for the Hope Public Schools, the HPS Board of Education Monday night adopted a resolution for district facilities improvements over the next three years.

The HPS Facilities Master Plan includes locker room renovations at Jones Field House, expansion of the Hammons Stadium press box, roofing projects at Hope High School, and HVAC and roofing upgrades for the Yerger Middle School gymnasium.

“Some of these have already been scheduled and some are proposed,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley said during the public hearing.

Dr. Crossley told the board later in its regular monthly meeting that none of the projects will require any increase in the millage tax rate for the district.

He said the Jones Field House renovation likely will cost close to $1 million because significant portions had to be rebid. Crossley said the roofing projects at HHS have begun, while the Yerger gym project is in planning and the Hammons Stadium project is in discussions.

“We have looked at ways to increase the curb appeal of all our campuses,” Crossley said.

Asked if the Yerger gym project might include locker room improvements similar to that at HHS, Crossley said the purpose of the YMS project was to maintain the historic and practical uses of the facility.

HPS Facilities/Transportation Director Maurice Henry said the plan is to be submitted to the Arkansas Department of Education for state partnership funding review.

“Some of it, like the Yerger gym, is not eligible for partnership funding,” Henry said. “But, all the projects we have before you are based on the funds available.”

Crossley said the 60-40 state partnership matching funds are closely held by the state.

“We are not expecting there will be matching funds for this which is why we are saving our building fund,” he said.

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