Highland School District planning upgrades to Cherokee Elementary

District passed a re-dedication of current millage rate in special election Tuesday

Highland School District planning upgrades to Cherokee Elementary

HIGHLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - The Highland School District is moving forward with plans after voters in Sharp County approved a rededication of the existing millage Tuesday.

The vote passed with nearly 66 percent of the vote out of 1,145 ballots.

Superintendent Don Sharp says the district plans to make major renovations to Cherokee Elementary School, along with a few other projects.

He says Cherokee Elementary School has faced roof damage in the past, and recently, a severe storm damaged the roof again, causing the library to close for a day.

Supt. Sharp wants to build a new roof, along with replacing the windows that haven’t been updated since the school was built in 1969.

He says he’s thrilled the vote passed so the district can begin to take these steps to upgrade the over 50-year-old school.

“The community felt like it was something that we needed and that they trust us to do what we say we’re going to do and what’s best for our students," Sharp said. "Ultimately it’s always about students anyway.”

In addition to the roof and the windows, a new awning and a renovated cafeteria are also on the list of upgrades.

Other plans include building a new agri-shop and expanding the middle school parking lot.

Sharp says the timeline involves preparing for a bond sale to be completed by November, with the projects set to begin shortly after.

Prior to the millage, the District had plans drawn up and approved by the state for the elementary school roof.

Next week, district leaders will meet with an architect and have additional plans drawn up for the other projects.

He added that while there isn’t a set timeline as to when the projects will be completed, the updates to the elementary school will take first priority.

He says he wants to make as much progress as possible without interrupting the students' learning.

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