Green Forest schools to buy bus, land adjacent to campus

Friday, April 26, 2013

GREEN FOREST -- School board members voted Monday to spend some $67,000 on the purchase of a used touring bus and a piece of property adjacent to the elementary school.

The 49-passenger bus, a 1994 Serta S215 HDH, is being purchased from First Assembly of God church, in Russellville, Ark.

Superintendent Matt Summers told board members the church had originally asked $30,000 for the vehicle, but, after negotiating, settled on the lower asking price of $27,000.

The superintendent said the vehicle was a "steal" at that price. Despite the age of the bus, Summers said it had been meticulously maintained.

The engine and transmission were both recently rebuilt, and the bus features new batteries and tires. It also includes a flat-screen TV and media system, which were installed last year.

Summers said he thought the football and volleyball teams would get the most use out of the bus, traveling in comfort during the sweltering months of summer.

Also Monday, board members authorized Summers to purchase the property at 605 S. Arch St. for $40,000.

The half-acre lot, owned by Scott Russell, is adjacent to Green Forest Elementary School and includes a 910 square-foot home, built in 1972.

The Carroll County Assessor's Office listed the combined market value of the property and building as $33,550.

Summers told board members the home needed a bit of interior work, which he said could be accomplished in-house. The additional space might be used in the short term as offices, storage, or an alternative learning classroom, he said.

Otherwise, the building might be razed and the property used for parking.

"It grieves me to think of spending that kind of money just to tear it down and build a parking lot," Summers said, "but that might be its final destination ... It would be an expensive parking lot, but they aren't making any more (land)."

In the long term, however, Summers said the property would allow the school room to grow.

He said the district was "actively looking" for other avenues for expansion, though he added that school officials had no immediate plans to purchase other properties.

Board members will meet again at 5 p.m. on May 20, in the Alumni Building on the Green Forest School campus. For more information, call 870-438-5201.

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