Batesville plans to cut campuses, upgrade facilities

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Batesville School District is currently creating a 3-5 year strategic plan that could restructure where some kids go to school and includes the possibility of adding new facilities.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Hester said the administration had more than 20 meetings with teacher, parents, students, and business owners to find out what their strategic goals should be.

"First of all, we have to reduce our footprint," Dr. Hester said. "We've got about three campuses we've identified in our district that we want to get off of our books that's draining our resources."

Those campuses are the current preschool, the White River Academy alternative learning center, and the current administrative campus.

"We're going to have to restructure Pre-K through 12 and move some kids and move some things that happen in the building," Dr. Hester said.

He said that might mean adding 9th grade to the high school and having a middle school that includes 6th through 8th grade.

The preschoolers would be added to the four elementary schools in some way.

The next goal would be to add what Dr. Hester called "wow features" to schools that would pique interest in the district.

"Our elementaries, we have something in there for them," Dr. Hester said. "And then on our secondary, we do not have a theater and our gym is probably about the size of a 1A or 2A high school gym."

He said the district will likely propose a bond to improve and build those facilities, but that would be at least a couple of years into the strategic plan.

The first draft of this plan will be presented to the Batesville School Board in December and then will be shown to the public in January.

Dr. Hester said it would be placed on their website and they have considered doing some town hall meetings to discuss the plan with community members.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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