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News & Updates


Bald Knob to Pursue New Elementary School Construction with No Millage Increase

The Bald Knob School District is moving forward with plans to build a new elementary school, and this time, they are not asking for a millage increase. The previous proposal for an increase was rejected by 78.32% of voters in 2022. Instead, the Bald Knob School Board is preparing to ask voters in November to refund four bond issues and extend the existing debt service mills to generate funds for the project.

Interim Superintendent Dr. David Bangs assured residents that their taxes would remain unchanged. “There will be no millage increase. It will still be 38.50 mills, as it currently is,” said Bangs. “The previous proposal was nearly a 6-mill increase, which was too much for the public.”

Superintendent Dr. David Bangs

In 2022, the district’s proposal to increase its debt service mills by 5.75 mills and extend the existing 13.5 debt service mills for 23 years was turned down. Despite this, the need for a new elementary school remains part of the district’s master facilities plan for 2025-27. Dr. Bangs emphasized the importance of the project, stating, “A 50-year-old building is considered end-of-life, and we have some of those.”

The new approach involves restructuring four existing loans and leveraging increased state support. Jack Truemper, a senior vice president of Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, explained, “This would involve no tax increase, just a restructuring of the debt. The state is partnering with us, covering 13% more than in the past, which reduces our costs significantly.”

The proposal includes a detailed financial strategy. The 2023 assessment valued the district at over $118 million, generating significant surplus from the 13.5 debt service mills. This surplus will help manage the largest debt payments and ensure the district stays within budget.

The plan is to raise approximately $10.4 million for the new elementary school project by refunding the bond issues from 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and extending the existing debt service mills. According to Bangs, this is an opportune moment for the project, given the favorable state support and current enrollment levels.

A resolution to adopt the proposed budget of expenditures for the 2025-26 fiscal year has been passed unanimously by the board. The goal is to secure voter approval in November, sell bonds by December or January, and begin construction by next summer. The new building is expected to be ready for occupancy by fall 2026.

The district is confident that this new approach will meet the community’s needs without increasing the tax burden on residents. Dr. Bangs and the board are optimistic about the future of Bald Knob Schools and the opportunities this new project will bring.


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