Millage vote on Sept. 19

By: 
Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

Early voting is going on now for the proposed 3.5 millage increase to help pay for a total remodeling of Malvern High School. The last day to vote will be Tuesday, Sept. 12.

According to Superintendent Brian Golden, with Malvern High School, the State of Arkansas offered to pay $5 million to help with the renovations, leaving the school to pay the other $7 million. If that offer is not accepted, the school loses its chance to receive that state aid. Golden said the roof needs to be replaced, in addition to the wiring and the antiquated air and heating systems can't be turned on or off during unseasonable temperatures. Back when he was teaching, said Golden, temperatures in the class room could get past 80 degrees.

The millage will also help pay for a five percent raise for staff, helping with recruiting and retention. Golden said math, science and special education teachers are hard to recruit.

He said many have asked why the school built the Leopard Center and other facilities before remodeling the high school. Golden said the reason was because they had state aid for those facilities at the time, but only recently had the offer of state aid for the high school.

In five years, the school has managed $20 million worth of construction without a tax increase. Advocates of the millage increase say Malvern will still have one of the lowest millages in the state, even if the increase passes.

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